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MEPs at the European Parliament declare their support for the right to work of practitioners of natural therapies in Europe.

Posted on Jul 2, 2015 in News

MEPs at the European Parliament declare their support for the right to work of  practitioners of natural therapies in Europe.

At the second meeting of the European Parliament Interest Group for CAM hosted by Ms Marian Harkin MEP for the Midlands Northwest Constituency of Ireland and organised by EFCAM ( European Federation for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) MEP’s declared their support for the right of professionals in CAM to work and to practice across European borders in the same way as other professionals. In opening the meeting MEP Harkin (ALDE) highlighted the fact that whilst millions of Europeans were using CAM as a private healthcare treatment to many it remained inaccessible due to its lack of recognition by the public healthcare systems. Noting that many Member States have no regulation in natural therapies, she emphasised that “rather than viewing this as a problem, we need to take this as an opportunity”. According to EFCAM there are 360,000 professionals of CAM in Europe practising a range of natural therapies such as aromatherapy, acupuncture, kinesiology, osteopathy, shiatsu, reflexology and many more. The practitioners of these professions want these practices recognised and appropriately regulated across Europe. In his presentation to the meeting Seamus Connolly, President of EFCAM, stated that Directive 2004/36 / EC gives CAM professionals the same right to work as all other professionals but that EU Member States either regulate to lightly or too tightly, or not at all so that this European Union right is not in fact available to CAM professionals. “The right to work for practitioners of natural therapies is not just a good idea but a right that is based on the very essence of the EU, the free movement of workers”. For his part, Secretary of EFCAM and APTN-COFENAT President, Roberto San Antonio Abad said that “we just lack the political will. Fortunately that political will is something you can change’. Associate Professor Dr. Torkel Falkenberg, one of the seven authors of the Strategy of the World Health Organisation on Traditional and Complementary Medicine 2014-2023, presented the WHO strategy to the meeting. He advised that the strategy aims to provide support to member states to benefit from the possible contribution of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) to people centered healthcare and to provide the safe and effective use of TCM by regulating products, practices and practitioners. He said he was “convinced” that this strategy WHO “will be a valuable tool for governments, system planners and health professionals.” Slovenian MEP Dr. Igor Soltes (Greens) stated that “it is not easy to harmonise the regulation of CAM in all member states each with different regulations, but that if we could regulate a free trade agreement with the US it was surely possible to do it”. It is also a great opportunity for a creation of new jobs and an important source of significant synergistic effects” Mr. Sean Kelly MEP (EPP) felt that a coalition of support could be built for this across the political groups in the Parliament. Concluding his presentation Seamus Connolly, EFCAM President, said that ”The key to unlocking the potential of the CAM for citizens and health is to grant the regulated right to work and practice on a common basis across Europe”. Mr. Sean Kelly MEP Ireland closed the meeting by encouraging the sector to bring its case to the Institutions as it was well deserving. For further information please contact EFCAM at:...

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Current News: Meeting of the EU Parliament Interest Group on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 in News

Current News: Meeting of the EU Parliament Interest Group on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM

Meeting of the EU Parliament Interest Group on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM. Tuesday June 23rd 2015 at 12.30, Towards a New Dispensation in European Healthcare: Creating the Right to Work for CAM Professionals. European Parliament Brussels, Room: 6C100 Host: Mrs. Marian Harkin MEP (ALDE) Agenda: 12.30 – 12.40: Welcome and Introduction: Mrs Marian Harkin MEP 12.40 – 13.00: Availabilty and Citizen Access to CAM and the CAM Professional’s Profile: Seamus Connolly, President EFCAM. 13.00 – 13.20: Legal Heterogeneity of CAM Providers in Europe: Dr. Torkel Falkenberg, Associate Professor in Healthcare Research, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm 13.20 – 13.40: Perspective of the Commission: Speaker from DG EMPL tbc 13.40 – 14.20: Panel Discussion and Questions: Roadmap for a Common European Approach to the recognition and regulation of providers to facilitate citizen access to CAM. 14.20 – 14.30:Conclusions and Next...

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Conference on CAM in EU Parliament

Posted on May 27, 2015 in News

Conference on CAM in EU Parliament

The first ever Conference on Complementary and Alternative Medicine will take place in the EU Parliament. Date: 9 0ctober 2012 (9.00-18.00). Theme: “Complementary and Alternative Medicine – Innovation and Added Value for European Healthcare”. Host: Elena Oana Antonescu MEP (EPP, Romania). Moderator: Harald Walach (Professor of Research Methodology and Complementary Medicine, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany). Speakers: John Dalli (European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy – video message). Alojz Peterle, MEP (EPP, Slovenia). Andrew Long (Professor of Health Systems Research, University of Leeds, United Kingdom).Conference Programme.pdf Speakers’ short biographies Erik Baars (Professor of Anthroposophic Healthcare, University of Applied Sciences, Leiden, the Netherlands). Dominik Irnich (Head of Multidisciplinary Pain Centre, Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Munich, Germany). Gustav Dobos (Professor of Internal Medicine, Chair of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany). Claudia Witt (Professor of Medicine, Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Economics, Charité University, Berlin, Germany). Simona Dragan (Professor of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania). Helle Johannessen (Professor of Social Studies in Health and Medicine, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark). Wolfgang Weidenhammer (CAMbrella project leader, Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University Hospital ‘Rechts der Isar’ of the Technical University of Munich, Germany). Torkel Falkenberg (Associate Professor of Health Care Research, Research Constellation Leader – Integrative Health Care, Karolinska Institute, and Director, I C – The Integrative Care Science Center, Sweden). For more information: http://my.epha.org/civicrm/event/info?id=116&reset=1...

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European Parliament Interest Group Meeting on CAM June 27th ’13

Posted on Jul 7, 2013 in News

European Parliament Interest Group Meeting on CAM June 27th ’13

The EU Parliament CAM Interest group met on the topic of CAM: an Investment in Health on June 27th 2013. It was co-chaired by Mr Alojz Peterle MEP, Slovenia and Mrs Sirpa Pietikainen MEP, Finland. The agenda and Speakers are overleaf. Approximately 60 people attended, including 4 EFCAM Board members.The Keynote speaker was the Health Commissioner Mr Tonio Borg. This was the first time that a Health Commissioner has attended a CAM Interest Group meeting in the Parliament. Thanks are due to Mr Peterle for organising this.The Commissioner declared himself a believer in CAM and said that he has used Chinese Medicine. He said that the prejudices about CAM should be removed, that people should be allowed to chose their healthcare and providers have free movement to practice. He spoke of the financial pressures of health systems to do more with fewer resources and that in this context sustainable treatments, cost effective treatments and anything that can produce better outcomes at lower cost was welcome. Citizens should be empowered to make good health choices for themselves because good health is a fundamental right of all citizens. EFCAM thanks Commissioner Borg for his attendance and for his general welcoming of CAM. We are sure that further initiatives in relation to CAM will follow from this. Mrs Pietikainen and Mr Peterle made a number of suggestions for follow on action: perhaps a unified umbrella for professional training, to get more data about cost-benefits, to look for possibilities in existing legislation for regulation but to also push for own regulation, and n perhaps a much bigger conference next April/May than that organised by ourselves last October. For more information contact the EFCAM President or Secretary respectively: Seamus Connolly, Heinrike Bergmans...

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Report from the CAM Conference

Posted on Oct 27, 2012 in News

Report from the CAM Conference

European Parliament Conference on Complementary and Alternative Medicine The first ever conference at the European institutions on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM, took place on Tuesday October 9th in the European Parliament. “CAM: 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). The conference was accompanied by a three-day exhibition featuring demonstrations of reflexology and shiatsu where visitors to the exhibition could sample these two modalities. Posters illustrating several CAM modalities and stands providing publications and information on access to and uses of the modalities were also displayed. 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. EFCAM wishes to offer a big Thank You to everyone involved in organizing this milestone event, especially the hosting MEPs and their staff, the European Commission for its official sponsorship, the European Parliament and staff, EPHA the conference technical organiser, the sponsors who contributed towards the costs, the other organizing partners and all those who prepared and participated in the exhibition.     Across Europe at least up to 80% 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 360,000 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. This can be on a stand-alone basis and/or in ways complementary to conventional medicine. Members of the European Parliament, health professionals, patients and policy makers gathered in the Parliament to hear and debate presentations on the innovative added value of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for European Healthcare. Participants at the Conference forcefully concluded that the potential within CAM 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 especially at a time when health funding is under such pressure from economic and demographic pressures. The conference ended with a Call for Action asking the European Commission, inter alia: – to promote equitable access for citizens to CAM in Member States, – to include CAM in all possible Community Actions dealing with health education and promotion, prevention and treatment of chronic disease, health inequalities, and active and healthy ageing, – to encourage Member States to explore the ways in which CAM can contribute to sustainable healthcare systems in Europe including its role in health maintenance, health education, self-responsibility for health, motivation for healthy lifestyle change and less invasive and more cost-effective treatment of illness, – to propose the requisite draft directives, or amendments to existing directives, to ensure freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services for providers of CAM, – to ensure that the management of relevant Commission programmes, such as the Health for Growth, Horizon 2020, European Innovation Partnership on Healthy and Active Aging, gives an equitable opportunity to CAM projects to participate. A brief selection from some of...

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