At last the EU Commission responds to the issue of Complementary and Alternative Medicine(CAM)… it’s growing use in the EU.
Nine years ago the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the area of non-conventional medicine; i.e. Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (ref: A4-0075/97; Resolution on the status of non-conventional medicines.)
However, one of the paragraphs of the resolution called on the Commission to carry out a thorough study into the safety, effectiveness; area of application and the complementary; or alternative nature of all non-conventional medicines. Along with drawing up a comparative study of the various national legal models; to which non-conventional medical practitioners are subject;
Finally a CAM report has been published
Furthermore, this report partly fulfills this resolution in that it contains a comparative study of the various legal models in EU and EEA Member States; to which non-conventional practice is subject; and looks at how CAM is reimbursed by the various national health insurance systems.
Despite a considerable number of inaccuracies the report is a reasonable first formal attempt at mapping the situation for CAM in the EU; and builds on the content of ECCH’s own report on the Legal Status for Homeopathic Practice in the EU.
Meanwhile, an associated web-site; (click here); containing a downloadable PDF copy of the report also contains two other sections. One on case studies of the use of CAM products as well as therapies in Cancer; and another on Systematic Reviews of this medicine research.
Both of these sections make significant references to the web-site of the NCCAM offices of the National Institutes of Health of the USA. However, the US Government has increasingly invested millions of dollars in researching the area of CAM; in response to US citizens burgeoning use of CAM approaches in their healthcare.
ECCH welcomes this initiative in the form of a funded project
Moreover, this was under the ‘Quality of Life’ section of the EU’s 5th Framework Research Program; as a first step by the EU. Along with its member states recognizing the growing use of CAM by EU citizens. Therefore, it is conservatively estimated that over 120 million EU citizens are currently using CAM as part of their healthcare provision.
Nonetheless, clearly these citizens are expressing a desire for a broader; as well as more integrated approach to their healthcare than that; which is offered by the current disease focused conventional model.
As a matter of fact, Complementary and Alternative Medicines are the connection between the two areas of the prevention of disease; as well as the treatment of disease in that the approach of most CAM disciplines is to do both simultaneously. However, now the nettle of disease prevention is finally being grasped by the EU. As well as its member states; the wider integration CAM approaches to healthcare together with conventional approaches should be the next one to grasp; as a long term investment in the health of all EU citizens.
Click here to check out the next post about Homeopathy Campaign for C.A.M. Still Gets Stronger.