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Alternative and complementary medical services will be required to meet


2018 10 11

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According to health minister Aurelijus Veryga, currently providers of such health promotion services present their activities as educational, body-welfare, and health promotion. And it misleads service users because it becomes difficult to distinguish which practices belong to the sphere of health promotion, and which not. It should therefore be made very clear that such practices as dolphin therapy, hippotherapy, leech therapy, acupuncture, and other non-traditional and alternative forms of medicine are considered to be health promotion services.

"It often happens that if services are provided successfully, their provider presents that kind of services as health promotion activities, however, in the cases of failure where people suffer harm, the same services are presented as not being classified as health services. It can no longer be like this, and every person needs to know for what kind of service pays, and what the consequences can be," says Minister A. Veryga.

Therefore, the planned complementary and alternative health care regulation seeks to ensure that a service user who has health problems and wants help without taking pills receives safe and quality services in the situation where the complementary and alternative methods are sought to strengthen, improve or recover health. And to ensure that every person can understand which services are classified as health promotion services, and which are not.

Lithuanian health vice-minister Algirdas Šešelgis stated that the draft law was aimed at ensuring that services which should be assumed as complementary and alternative health care services could be provided by the competent health professionals who had acquired the necessary qualifications.

"It is also very important that the service providers comply with all the requirements that are planned to introduce for implementation of these activities in regard to the public health safety (hygiene) norms established for this specific service provision. This is to ensure that service users receive true, non-confusing, clear and comprehensive information on the significance of complementary and alternative health care services to human health," said vice-minister A. Šešelgis.

It is intended to regulate only those complementary and alternative health care services that may cause potentially high and medium risk to human health.

Also, in the future, persons intending to provide complementary and alternative medicine services will have to acquire the necessary education, and it is recommended that the related educational institutions prepare the training programs involving representatives of relevant associations who have a long practical experience of the particular activity.

In the recent years, the public spheres have increasingly focused on the positive impact of the alternative medicine services on human health which encourages greater public interest and the use of complementary and alternative health care services. For this reason, the state institutions responsible for public health care become aware of the important task to develop tools in preventing the growing risk of contagious diseases, infections and unwanted changes in psychological well-being, emotional health to ensure not only the quality of the services of this activity but also safety. So in this regard, all decisions will be based on science and rational mind.

In addition, we emphasize that the complementary and alternative health care services will not be funded by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (PSDF). As before, these services will be paid by the service users.

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