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PIA Press Release

Gov't promotes traditional and alternative health care

Tacloban City (November 2) -- It is the policy of the State to improve the quality and delivery of health care services to the Filipino people through the development of traditional and alternative health care and its integration into the national health care delivery system.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, through Proclamation No. 698 declaring the month of November as the Traditional and Alternative Health Care Month.

This proclamation makes known to the Filipino people that the government supports the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care in achieving the mandate of RA 8423 or the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act of 1997 which was sponsored by then Senator Juan Flavier.

President Arroyo, in issuing the Proclamation said that since much of medical care in the country is focused on primary health care, the first line of defense, there is a need for the people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and be aware of the existence of traditional and alternative medicine which are effective and affordable for preventing and healing a wide variety of diseases.

The President said that there are about 2,000 medicinal plants in the Philippines and there is a need to accelerate the research and development of these plants for medical use.

The Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care and the Department of Health, with the cooperation of participating of agencies (government and non-government organizations),have been directed to organize and coordinate the activities for the celebration of the month.

The Traditional and Alternative Medicines Act of 1997 aims to promote and be able to provide an array of affordable, accessible and effective traditional and complementary / alternative health care options for the Filipino people to choose from.

The objectives of this Act are to encourage scientific research on and develop traditional and alternative health care systems that have direct impact on public health care;and to promote and advocate the use of traditional, alternative, preventive and curative health care modalities that have been proven safe, effective, cost effective and consistent with government standards on medical practice.

The Law also aims to develop and coordinate skills training courses for various forms of traditional and alternative health care modalities; and to formulate standards, guidelines and codes of ethical practice appropriate for the practice of traditional and alternative health care as well as in the manufacture, quality control and marketing of different traditional and alternative health care materials, natural and organic products, for approval and adoption by the appropriate government agencies.

Finally, the law aims to formulate policies for the protection of indigenous and natural health resources and technology from unwarranted exploitation, for approval and adoption by the appropriate government agencies; and to formulate policies to strengthen the role of traditional and alternative health care delivery system. (PIA 8) [top]

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