Investing in Complementary & Alternative Medicine:
Innovation and Added Value and saving for European Healthcare
The first ever conference at the European institutions on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM, took place on Tuesday October 9th in the European Parliament in Brussels. “Innovation and Added Value for European healthcare" was the theme of the conference. It was hosted by MEP Elena Oana Antonescu (Romania) and co-hosted by MEPs Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland) and Alojz Peterle (Slovenia).
Seamus Connolly, President of EFCAM, one of the 3 co-organisers, said that the conference was a major milestone in the formal recognition of the contribution of CAM practitioners to healthcare in Europe and to equitable access for all European citizens to the benefits of CAM.
Across Europe at least 25% of the population use Complementary and Alternative Medicine largely paying for it out of their own pocket. Despite clear citizen use and demand, CAM has not received a proper consideration by the European institutions, despite a call to do so from the European Parliament as far back as 1997.There are in the order of 300,000 CAM practitioners in Europe employing a range of modalities such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, homeopathy, kinesiology, naturopathy, massage, reflexology, shiatsu and TCM. They offer a "whole person" approach to health with a focus on supporting the person’s health-maintaining capacities and where illness is treated according to the distinct diagnostic and treatment methods of the modalities used.
Elena Oana Antonescu, MEP and host: “The fact that more and more Europeans live longer requires the adaptation of entire healthcare systems. I believe that complementary and alternative medicine can help promote a healthier and more environmentally aware lifestyle, with significant benefits to personal and societal health.
The conference concluded that the potential that CAM has to maintain health, prevent ill-health, promote healthier lifestyles and contribute to the sustainability of health systems should not be disregarded by the European Union.
Source: European Federation for Complementary and alternative Medicine
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