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Complement Ther Med. 2002 Mar;10(1):14-9.

Regulation of complementary/alternative medicine: a Canadian perspective.

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University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Increased use of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) therapies by Canadians combined with increasingly forceful lobbying from both practitioner groups and the public have made the regulation of CAM practitioners an important issue for Canadian policy makers. A variety of challenges (including regulatory structures that are difficult to change, fear of adding costs to an already under-funded healthcare system and the lack of internal cohesion of some CAM practitioner groups) are currently hindering attempts to implement new policy. However, an environment of health regulation review and renewal as well as public support for regulation may have created a window of opportunity for investigating policy options. Currently in Canada, health care providers are regulated by individual provinces. This means that although some CAM practitioners are either regulated (e.g. chiropractors) or not regulated (e.g. herbalists, homeopaths) in all provinces; others (e.g. naturopathic practitioners, acupuncture/TCM practitioners) are regulated in some provinces, but not others. Harmonization of regulations and scopes of practice for CAM practitioners across Canada is one of the biggest future challenges.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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