Dubai, UAE: Currently there are more than 200 licensed TCAM (Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine) professionals in the UAE. TCAM therapies, such as Acupuncture, homeopathy, Ayurveda, hijama (cupping), chiropractic, osteopathy, and naturopathy, are fully recognized by both federal and local health authorities in the UAE.
During 2014 alone, 21 practitioners successfully passed the UAE Ministry of Health’s TCAM qualifying exams: Six specialised in homeopathy, two in Ayurveda, one in acupuncture, two in hijama (cupping), two in unani, three in clinical massage therapy, three in chiropractic, and two in other genres.
According to Dr Sassan Behjat, Founder and Principal Consultant, Medblend Homeopathic Consultancy and Research Services, California, USA, “The UAE has been aligning its TCAM policies for the past 20 years in line with the WHO’s Global Strategy on Traditional and Complementary Medicine. Simultaneously, other countries in the GCC are vamping up their resources and policies to follow the GCC Executive Council’s position in placing TCAM on equal footing with conventional medicine; in developing the infrastructure, policies and organization for effective implementation of TCAM policies.”
Dr Behjat is the chair of the Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine Conference at the Arab Health Congress, the region’s largest healthcare exhibition and congress, from 26-29 January 2015 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center.
“Many homeopathic remedies in the UAE are now coded by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and the Dubai Drug Code; these remedies are made more readily available for the general population. More doctors have registered and regulated natural medicinal products in the formulary of their clinics and hospitals,” highlighted Dr Behjat.
Complementary medicine works hand in hand with conventional medicine. Conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, insomnia, stress, and post-menopausal conditions are treated using conventional medicine; however, sometimes healthcare practitioners may recommend supplementary complementary medicine treatment to further aid recovery.
“Due to the integration of TCAM into national health policies, not only are practitioners getting licensed to work along with medical doctors in clinics and hospitals; also more natural treatments are finding their way to the list of medication that doctors can prescribe. It is noted that doctors are reducing their prescription of antibiotics for viral infections affecting the throat and sinuses, and instead prescribing homeopathic remedies which are safer to use for long term use, and have shown to be more effective in building immunity towards such chronic or seasonal conditions,” commented Dr Behjat.