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Complementary Healthcare Advisory Committee

Health Minister Annette King today confirmed the establishment of a ministerial advisory committee on complementary healthcare.

Mrs King said it was a priority for the Green Party that such a committee was established, and she had agreed to it.

Mrs King said she accepted consumer demand for complementary healthcare was growing rapidly, and the committee, to consist of representatives from various complementary healthcare services, would be able to provide her with useful advice.

"It is the right time, during the continuing development of the New Zealand Health Strategy, to be considering all aspects of healthcare and the role alternative and complementary medicine can play im promoting better health for New Zealanders," she said.

"Where there are effective and safe health treatments available, that are not dependent on expensive drugs, it is important we learn as much as possible about them, and keep an open mind about how they can fit into the overall health structure.

"Apart from advice and information on health issues, the committee can also provide me with advice on important issues such as protection of patients and registration. Such a committee will also have an important role in developing a research data base, facilitating new research, and producing evidence that would be convincing to mainstream health providers and policy-makers."

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