What is CAM? PDF Print E-mail

Definition of CAM

A diverse range of autonomous healthcare practices used for health maintenance, health promotion, disease prevention and for the treatment of ill-health. These practices can be used together with conventional medical approaches to create a broad range of healthcare options for the public.

CAM practices are:

    health supporting
    open to innovation
    traditional and established
   safe for both patients and users  
    enhancing of self-healing capacities 
    promoting of self-responsibility for health
    able to be used either in combinations or individually
    increasing the range of options available for patient care and treatment

The European Context in Brief

    CAM is used across Europe by a high and increasing percentage of the public.
    Access to CAM care varies radically from country to country and between socio-economic groups.
    CAM approaches are not uniformly recognised throughout Europe and the right to practise CAM varies from country to country.
    Costs of conventional care continue to rise while the preventive and curative approaches of CAM offer both short and long-term cost benefits.
    In the Lannoye/Collins Report of 1997, the European Parliament made a number of demands on the EU Council and EU Commission to act in the area of CAM.