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First step to integrate complementary therapies

First step towards integrating complementary therapies

The Green Party has taken the first step towards integrating complementary healthcare into the health system, with a proposal to fund a Ministerial Advisory Committee on Complementary Healthcare.

As part of the Green Budget Package, $150,000 is proposed to set up a five to seven member committee to advise the Minister of Health on complementary healthcare.

"This is the first step in a six-step process towards integrating complementary healthcare into the existing health system," Green Party health spokesperson Sue Kedgley said.

"The long-term aim of the Greens is to establish health clinics around New Zealand where registered complementary health practitioners work alongside general practitioners," she said.

Ms Kedgley said consumer demand for complementary healthcare is growing rapidly, with at least a quarter of the population using complementary therapies.

"I am delighted that Health Minister Annette King has agreed to taking this first step towards recognising properly registered complementary therapists and ensuring that consumers using complementary therapies are properly protected."

The government also needed to support research into the safety and efficacy of complementary healthcare, she said.

"In the long-run, further research into and use of low-tech, cost-effective complementary healthcare may improve the overall health of New Zealanders, reduce our dependence on prescription drugs, including antibiotics, and help shift our emphasis towards preventing rather than just treating illness," Ms Kedgley said.

"As we enter the 21st Century, we need to leave behind the narrow mindset that says orthodox Western medicine is the only effective way of treating illness. It's time to acknowledge that there are other healing practices which are effective in preventing disease and treating some illnesses in a low-tech, cost effective way."

Ends

Sue Kedgley MP: 04 470 6728 or 025 270 9088 Gina Dempster, (press secretary): 04 470 6723 or 021 1265 289

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