Manifesto - CAM for a healthier Europe EUROCAM urges EU political leaders to take action

From 23rd to the 26th of May 2019 citizens from all 27 Member States of the European Union will have the opportunity to vote in the European elections. Over seven hundred new Members of the European Parliament will be elected. After the elections, twenty-seven new European Commissioners, the European Commission President and the European Council President will be appointed.

New health policies will be set and EUROCAM is working to influence the decision making of the newly elected EU political leaders to support and provide the means for mainstreaming CAM into European health policies and healthcare systems as well as funding research into the benefits and cost-effectiveness of CAM. 

 It is of great importance that the future EU political leaders in the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council are aware of the importance of including CAM in the 2019-2024 legislature.

The current health situation in Europe

EU health systems are facing a number of challenges, like ageing populations, antimicrobial resistance, non-communicable diseases and soaring healthcare costs.[1]

CAM can make a substantial contribution to address these health policy issues, as CAM treatments are more adapted to the individual needs of patients and complement conventional medicine to improve treatment outcomes. Moreover, CAM modalities can often be used as a first option in treating many conditions, reducing the use of usually costly conventional drugs, which nevertheless would remain for use if required. CAM modalities can help to prevent the long-term dependency on conventional medication and to reduce the enormous burden of mortality and morbidity caused by the adverse effects of conventional drugs.

Therefore, EUROCAM calls on the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council, in the 2019-2024 legislature, to include CAM in their policies to tackle the following issues:

Antimicrobial Resistance

  • Initiate and support the inclusion of CAM therapies as effective and safe non-antibiotic treatments for infections;
  • Initiate and support further research investment into non-antibiotic treatment options for infections as put forward by CAM;
  • Support Member States in the integration of CAM treatment of infections in primary healthcare.

Learn more about the manifesto on the AMR page.

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

  • Encourage Members States to take note of World Health Assembly resolutions WHA62.13 and WHA67.18 that urged the Member States to:
    • integrate Traditional Medicine (TM) and CAM within national healthcare systems by developing and implementing national TM policies and programmes;
    • promote the safety, efficacy and quality of TM/CAM by expanding the knowledge base and providing guidance on regulatory and quality assurance standards;
    • establish systems for the qualification, accreditation or licensing of TM/CAM practitioners;
    • increase the availability and affordability of TM/CAM.
  • Encourage Member States to take note of the WHO’s Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023, which support Member States in developing proactive policies and implementing action plans that will strengthen the role Traditional Medicine (TM) and CAM plays in keeping populations healthy;
  • Support Member States with knowledge transfer of integration of conventional medicine and CAM to enable more effective, accessible and resilient health systems;
  • Promote the inclusion of CAM in all possible EU public health policy and programmes dealing with health education and promotion, prevention and treatment of chronic disease, health inequalities, and active and healthy ageing;
  • Improve EU legislation and regulation of CAM medicinal products, practices and providers, and facilitate their free circulation.

Learn more about the manifesto on NCDs.

Reducing healthcare costs

  • Explore the ways in which CAM can contribute to sustainable healthcare systems including its role in health maintenance, health education, self-responsibility for health, a motivation for a healthy lifestyle change and less invasive and more cost-effective treatment of illness;
  • Mainstream CAM in all EU health initiatives;
  • Mainstream CAM in all EU health research initiatives;
  • Support Member States with knowledge transfer of integration of conventional medicine and CAM to enable more effective, accessible and resilient health systems;
  • Facilitate mutual recognition of national professional qualifications of CAM providers;
  • Improve EU legislation and regulation of CAM medicinal products.

Learn more about the manifesto on reducing healthcare costs.

Citizens’ freedom of choice in healthcare

To support the right of patients to choose the treatment they want to receive and trust, by promoting:

  • Implementation of Union legislation in cross-border healthcare regarding CAM;
  • Increased integration of CAM into the healthcare system;
  • Improved EU regulation of CAM products, practices and providers;
  • Greater investment in researching CAM’s benefits and risks.

Learn more about the manifesto on the freedom of choice in healthcare.

Resources State of Health in the EU

[1]Companion 2017 report on the State of Health in the EU, European Commission, available from https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/state/docs/2017_companion_en.pdf