Global Trends in Use and  Regulation of Natural Healthcare


Gerard Bodeker


Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007)




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In industrialised societies, complementary medicine is being used in an integrated way with modern medicine by half or more of the population. And the population of most developing countries uses traditional medicine for their everyday healthcare needs. The World Health Organisation Global Atlas of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) (Bodeker et al 2005) chart these trends. The findings from this and from a new book on Public Health & Policy Perspectives on TCAM (Bodeker & Burford 2007) include: the majority of the world’s population uses TCAM on a regular basis, they pay out of pocket, Asian traditional health systems are globalising, governments are focussing on regulation of practice, training, product quality & safety, women significantly outnumber men in the use of TCAM & each uses TCAM differently, prevention is favoured, with a lifestyle approach to health and well being. At the same time, regulators worldwide are addressing safety of products and services according to a range of different national priorities. Some frameworks favour self-regulation by TCAM professions and industry, while others focus on central government control & oversight. Each has a differing approach on growth of the sector. These global regulatory trends will be discussed in light of the exponential growth in use of TCAM worldwide.