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Reasons and Key Steps Towards Proper Implementation of Integrative Medicine Into The Health System
Looking for a more wholesome approach to preserving good health and treating illness, a growing number of patients and health-care professionals worldwide are showing interest in the application of integrative medicine methods in diagnosis and treatment. More than 20 years ago the WHO gave recommendations and instructions to help form national regulations and facilitate the implementation of integrative medicine methods in the health care systems of different countries, in regard to the application, research, evaluation, and quality control. Despite that, a clear legal framework for their safe implementation is still not provided in all countries. Having in mind that, according to the WHO, over 100 million Europeans currently use at least one of these methods it is crucial that the application of these methods be transparent and incorporated into the health care systems in a safe and reliable way. As possible interactions of simultaneous application of western medicine treatment and integrative medicine treatment may have negative effects if not combined properly, it is important that these evidence-based methods be applied by adequately trained and educated health care professionals. Experiences from the countries in which the application of these methods is regulated by law show that proper implementation of integrative medicine methods requires working in the following three areas simultaneously: the legislation, the education of health professionals, and informing the general public.