A conventional law for an unconventional medicine –
An overview of the Portuguese CAM Law
In Portugal Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) are in the middle of a journey that began in 2003, with the approval of the law that establishes the framework of the activity and the exercise of CAM professionals as the World Health Organization defines them.
After 10 years in 2013 comes the law that defines 7 CAM (Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Herbal Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, Osteopathy and Chiropractic) and the ordinances that define the cycle of studies, characterization and functional contents of the profession, Liability insurance and the issuance of Professional License by the Portuguese Ministry of Health.
At this moment in Portugal an Acupuncture practitioner or any other licensed CAM professional, have their profession well defined and with autonomy in the diagnosis and the means of therapeutics. It is still necessary to find its place in the health systems of Portugal. After the Ordinance 1/2017 all CAM therapies address in the law are VAT free.
In this moment in Portugal there are more than 2647 CAM Professional License issued, and several high education institutions with the bachelor degree in Acupuncture and Osteopathy, it is a great step in order to protect public health, respecting the individual right to health protection. But there are still many threats, it is not easy to find a law that serves as a glove when there are so many hands of different sizes, the fight is far from over but in the words of Lao-tsé “A great walk begins with the first step”
About Mr. Ricardo Teixeira
Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Specialist in Portugal. Member of Executive Committee of the ETCMA (European Traditional Chinese Medicine Association), head of the Advocacy Committee.
Started TCM training in the APA-DA in 2003, internship in Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2009 and in 2017 another internship in Meìxico with Dr. Roberto Gonzaìlez. A postgraduate course in Instituto Van Nghi – Portugal and several courses within the field of TCM.
Invited speaker to several conference and congress across Europe. Funding member of the WADO and part of the organization committee of the World Acupuncture Day on the UNESCO Building in Paris. Currently attending the final year of the bachelor degree in Clinic Physiology.