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New Integrator Poll: Establish a Federal Complementary/Integrative Health Care Office? PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

New Integrator Poll: Establish a Federal Complementary/Integrative Health Care Office?

Image For the past half dozen years, the idea of establishing a federal office of complementary, alternative and integrative medicine has been on the table for the interested complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and in integrative medicine (IM) disciplines.

This idea is the subject of the new Integrator poll. Please participate - upper left side, Integrator home page.

Some Arguments in Favor

The idea of establishing such an office was recommended by the White House Commission on CAM Policy (2002). The logic was that we needed to have a visible center for all of the potential policy activity involving CAM-IM. Don't we have a need to impact policy and programs which ranges from coverage to education, to inclusion in programs, education, program development related to integration, and perhaps, who knows, a role in health reform?

Those is favor view the establishment as a rallying point, bringing all the CAM-IM interested together. Without such an office, the argument goes, won't CAM-IM interests lose identity and momentum?

Many note that the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is sometimes pushed toward such a role even though its charge is only a subset of the research agenda.

Some Arguments Opposed

One argument of those not taken with the idea of a federal CAM-IM office is that creation of such an office effectively sets up a kind of apartheid. Doesn't this establish a separation between CAM-IM and the rest of medicine? Isn't the goal to be integrated into all of care, instead of separate?

Others look at the labor that would be involved in lobbying for an office, and the time needed to develop administrative rules and get it established. How long will it be until such an office is actually of any use to anyone? Aren't all of our resources scarce? Wouldn't it be better to just go our own ways with what resources we have an push for changes we want now?

And by the way, who would control this office? Don't such federal initiatives usually end up being run by the very powerful, influential and well-lobbied interests which they are often set up to change?

Participate -the Outcomes will Be More Interesting!

Creating a federal office on
complementary/integrative medicine is
critical for CAM-IM's future


Please participate! The outcomes are more interesting, the more of you who express your opinion!


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