Emerging Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy Initiatives and the Need for Dialogue

Knox, Kjersti E.; Fønnebø, Vinjar; Falkenberg, Torkel
September 2009
Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Sep2009, Vol. 15 Issue 9, p959
Academic Journal
Objectives: This article explores the regulation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and uses Swedish policy to bring to light paradoxes between CAM policies and CAM practice. It asserts that increases in CAM use challenge national health policies across the globe to simultaneously prioritize patient safety and treatment efficacy yet offer choices that promote patient ownership of health. In response to these challenges, many countries have established or are in the process of establishing a national CAM policy. Methods: Using Sweden as an example, current health law, the CAM policy–practice paradox, and efforts to change CAM policy are considered. This article offers recommendations for future policy development based on recent Norwegian reforms and World Health Organization guidelines and calls for dialogue on this topic. Conclusions: It is of the utmost importance that the rarely discussed paradoxes between CAM policy and CAM practice are addressed in health sector reforms globally.


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