DUBAI: The practice of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) is gaining momentum in the UAE and other countries in the region, with widespread use of it among patients and general consumers in this part of the world.
Homeopathy, in particular, has gained more acceptance in the UAE, due to various factors including stringent regulatory approval processes from the Ministry of Health (MoH).
A few years ago people had to travel to countries such as India for homeopathic treatment. Now, there is accumulating evidence that many patients visit the UAE to avail of high quality homeopathic treatment.
What has made the UAE a model for practice of homeopathic medicine is the way it is being practiced. Experts attribute this to the greater emphasis put on regulation of the complementary medicine sector in the Emirates.
The MoH makes sure the homeopathic medicines are manufactured in accordance to current GMP standards in high quality pharmaceutical facilities and their safety and quality are guaranteed before being sold through pharmacies.
Homeopathic doctors or practitioners have to pass qualifying exams to be able to practise in the UAE. Currently, the MoH, Health Authority — Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) have their own system of licensing homeopathic medicine practitioners, creating more awareness and confidence among the doctors and homeopaths.
Sassan Behjat, former director of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) unit at the MoH, says that homeopathy in the UAE is part of an integrated healthcare approach and a complementary system has evolved as a result.
“Such a setting moderates the practice of homeopaths to be rational and educated enough to not claim anything which is beyond their method of treatment. Such an integrated approach opens the way to medical doctors to learn from CAM therapists and the way they look at a disease and patient,” he added.
Behjat, now serving as CEO and principal consultant at Medblend in California-USA, is a key speaker at the Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine Conference, which will take place on Jan.30 at the Arab Health Congress 2013.
There are many homeopathic associations for professionals in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and the use of homeopathy is increasing among people in MENA region. This is evident from Arabic online forums and discussions going on regarding the use of homeopathic medicines for variety of health conditions.