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J Educ Health Promot. 2019 Nov 29;8:221. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_321_19. eCollection 2019.

Policies and laws related to the integration of traditional and complementary medicine into the Iranian health system based on the WHO definition: A document analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Health Services Management, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, International Campus, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2
Department of Health Services Management, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3
Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Persian Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the integration of traditional medicine into each country's health systems by formulating and implementing national policies and laws in accordance with the country's own situation. This study aims to examine and analyze the national laws and regulations in Iran concerning the integration of traditional medicine into the health system of the country based on the WHO definition.

METHODS:

Policy document analysis was performed through content analysis according to the WHO components for the integration of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) into health systems. All government and state websites were explored to locate policy-associated documents and laws. Only documents were ultimately included in the study that had been approved by a senior official of a ministry.

RESULTS:

Nine policy documents related to T&CM were found. In these documents, reference was made to the availability of education (26 cases), regulation (20 cases), availability of therapies (17 cases), research (15 cases), and insurance coverage (7 items).

CONCLUSIONS:

While policies and laws on the integration of T&CM in Iran have been formulated, this research showed that these policies have been implemented slowly or, in cases, not implemented at all. The government and the Ministry of Health and Medical Education need to take measures in this regard after they have evaluated the policies and programs. Given the tendency of the Iranian people to T&CM, the insurance of T&CM and the development of clinics and hospitals should be prioritized.

KEYWORDS:

Document analysis; Iran; health system; integration; traditional and complementary medicine

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