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Complementary & Alternative Medicines Way Forward

Way Forward for Complementary and Alternative Medicines

Media Release

16 April 2003

Consultation on Way Forward for Complementary and Alternative Medicines

A discussion document that will help shape future advice provided by the committee on complementary and alternative medicines has just been released by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Complementary and Alternative Health (MACCAH).

The discussion document is called "Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Current Policy Issues in New Zealand and Selected Countries" and Peggy Koopman-Boyden, Chair of the Committee, said the submissions received will be very helpful in guiding the Committee's future advice to the Minister of Health.

She said in particular the committee was keen on hearing opinions on issues such as:

Whether there is a need to regulate complementary and alternative health practitioners in order to protect consumers What information consumers consider important to know about the benefits, risks and costs of complementary and alternative therapies Which areas should be given the highest priority in developing New Zealand research on the safety and effectiveness of specific complementary and alternative therapies If and how specified complementary and alternative health practitioners should be integrated into the mainstream health system.

Peggy Koopman-Boyden said the Committee is eager to hear the range of ideas held by everyone with an interest in complementary and alternative medicine, whether they are a practitioner of complementary, alternative and/or mainstream medicine, a regulatory body or a consumer.

"The discussion document has issues and questions that the Committee has identified as important and we would welcome views on these points. In addition if there are other areas that people believe have been left out, it would be appreciated if they could draw the Committee's attention to these."

The Committee would prefer comments and submissions to be in writing and to be sent to:

MACCAH Submissions PO Box 5013 WELLINGTON Fax: (04) 496 2340 Email: maccahdoc@moh.govt.nz

The closing date for written submissions is May 30, 2003.

Those wishing to obtain a copy of the discussion document can download a copy from the Committee's website www.newhealth.govt.nz/maccah.htm or contact Wickliffe Press, by telephone (04) 4762 277 or email moh@wickliffe.co.nz citing the reference number HP 3619.

Oral submissions Oral submissions will also be heard in May and June in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Bookings for oral submissions can be made through the MACCAH secretariat (04) 496 2089 or by emailing maccahdoc@moh.govt.nz

Timetable for Oral Submissions:

|------------------------+------------------------+-----------------------
-|
|Auckland |Saturday 10 May 2003 |Heritage Hotel, 35
|
| |(and Sunday 11 May if |Hobson St
|
| |required) |
|
|------------------------+------------------------+-----------------------
-|
|Christchurch |Saturday 7 June (and |Grand Chancellor Hotel,
|
| |Sunday 8 June 2003 if |161 Cashel St
|
| |required) |
|
|------------------------+------------------------+-----------------------
-|
|Wellington |Saturday 28 June 2003 |Copthorne Hotel,
Plimmer|
| |(and Sunday 29 June if |Towers (corner Boulcott
|
| |required) |St and Gilmer Tce)
|
|------------------------+------------------------+-----------------------
-|


For more information contact: Peggy Koopman-Boyden Committee Chair Phone (07) 856 4937 (leave a message - messages will be checked regularly and responded to)

Background The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Complementary and Alternative Health (MACCAH) was established in June 2001 under section 11 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.

The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Minister of Health (who has delegated oversight to the Associate Minister, Hon Tariana Turia) on issues to do with complementary and alternative health, and specifically to provide advice in areas such as regulation, consumer information needs, research, and integration.

The key tasks for the Committee are:

(a) to provide information and advice to the Minister on complementary and alternative healthcare (b) to provide advice on how complementary and alternative healthcare can improve outcomes in the priority areas signalled in the New Zealand Health Strategy

(c) to provide advice on the need, or otherwise, to regulate complementary and alternative healthcare practitioners in order to protect consumers who use complementary and alternative healthcare

(d) to provide advice on consumer information needs and, in particular, advice on the benefits, risks and costs of complementary and alternative therapies

(e) to review overseas evidence-based research, identify priorities for the development of New Zealand evidence-based research on the safety and efficacy of specific complementary and alternative therapies and support the development of guidelines

(f) to provide advice on whether, and how, specified complementary and alternative health practitioners should be integrated into the mainstream system.

More information is available on MACCAH's website:

http://www.newhealth.govt.nz/maccah.htm


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