WCM-Q Explores Regulation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Qatar

Press release
Published October 16th, 2018 - 09:44 GMT
The latest instalment of WCM-Q’s Law & Medicine series addressed the regulation of complementary and alternative medicine.
The latest instalment of WCM-Q’s Law & Medicine series addressed the regulation of complementary and alternative medicine.

The regulation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Qatar was discussed at the latest installment of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) Law & Medicine series.

The symposium brought together legal and healthcare professionals from Qatar and internationally to discuss the current laws regulating the practice, practitioners and the products of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Qatar, integrating CAM into conventional healthcare systems, and the opportunities and challenges presented by CAM, among other related topics.

Entitled ‘Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Qatar: A Regulatory Perspective’, the symposium featured a series of presentations and a panel discussion. WCM-Q’s Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, Professor of Integrative Medicine/Senior Associate Dean for Population Health, Capacity Building and Student Affairs, gave an overview of common CAM therapies and discussed evidence-based approaches to integrating complimentary medicine within conventional healthcare delivery. In addition, Dr. Jayarajan Kodikannath, Academy Director of the Kerala Ayurveda Academy in India and San Francisco, spoke about the practice of Ayurveda and the regulatory and licensing efforts underway to its integration in conventional healthcare systems in USA and India.

Dr. Samar Aboulsoud, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners, explained the regulatory framework underway in Qatar for complementary medicine practitioners and products. Additionally, Dr. Sunanda Holmes, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, The American University in Cairo, discussed the framework of CAM regulations set out by the World Health Organization and the European Union, and potential challenges in regulating CAM through licensing CAM practitioners and products.

Dr. Holmes, course director of the Law & Medicine series, said: “Just as is the case with conventional healthcare services, it is vitally important that complementary medicine services and products are well-regulated through education, training programs and collaborative efforts among all healthcare practitioners from both the conventional and CAM communities. Patient safety and effective treatments are of paramount importance to all who are involved. This symposium aims to explain how the current and proposed regulatory framework of CAM practitioners and products in Qatar will lead to health, wellness and patient-centered care.” 

A number of practitioners of complementary medicine also presented their own perspectives of their practice and the licensure efforts underway of their professions. These included Dr. Zainab Almusleh, a senior consultant of hearing & balance disorders, Mr. Mohammad Al-Khater, an integrative medicine & naturopathy consultant, Ms. Niloofar Rezai, a homeopathic consultant, and Dr. Matthys le Roux, a chiropractor. A presentation by WCM-Q’s Dr. Stella Major, Associate Professor of Family Medicine in Clinical Medicine, gave a conventional healthcare provider’s perspective of CAM, emphasizing the importance of good communication to ensure patients feel comfortable telling them about CAM therapies they use, so that they can be safely incorporated into an overall care package if appropriate.

The symposium concluded with a panel discussion and Q&A session on the relationships between CAM and conventional healthcare practitioners and explored ways to improve patient care by safely integrating the two models.

The Law & Medicine series, delivered by WCM-Q’s Division of Continuing Professional Development, is accredited locally by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners-Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD) and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

Background Information

Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar

Established in 2001 as a partnership between Cornell University and Qatar Foundation, WCM-Q is part of Cornell University in Ithaca, and shares the tripartite mission of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York: A dedication to excellence in education, patient care and research.

The first medical school in Qatar and a pioneer of coeducation at university level, WCM-Q offers an integrated program of pre-medical and medical studies leading to the Cornell University M.D. degree. Teaching is by Cornell and Weill Cornell faculty, including physicians at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) who hold Weill Cornell appointments.

Enrollment has grown rapidly from 25 first year pre-medical students in fall 2002 to more than 300 students from more than 30 countries in 2018.

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