Gulf states plan to regularise alternative medicine practice


Member of the Executive Authority for the GCC Minister of Health Council Hala Al Mahza told a seminar early this week that five Gulf countries supported the immediate drafting of the law, while Saudi Arabia suggested reviewing the matter before drafting the legislation. She said that Bahrain’s bill was considered as a model because of the similarity of Gulf societies.

Plans to regulate the alternative medicine practice come as part of a plan to ensure the safety of the public with the increasing popularity of herbal treatment.

Head of Registration and Licence at the Ministry of Health Dr Tawfeeq Naseeb told the seminar that decision makers were interested in regularising traditional and alternative medicine. “Gulf Health Ministries would form committees to supervise the sector that runs for centuries in the region through home remedies and herbal shops as well as treatments that are part of Islamic tradition,” he explained. “We have been supporting the alternative medicine to improve it to meet international standards.”

In regard of Bahrain’s law Dr Naseeb said: “We have consulted the public and concerned bodies in drafting the law. With the approval of the new law, the license department would issue new licenses for qualified doctors in alternative medicine, which would directly solve the shortage of manpower in this sector.”

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