Calgary, Canada Leads Way in CAM Research and Clinical Training

Mount Royal College in Canada will open Canada's first post-secondary institute dedicated to advancing complementary and alternative health, together with a 24-hour phoneline to dispense information about 'scientifically proven alternative health options.'

According to an article in the Calgary Herald (http://www.canada.com/calgary/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=8f81c871-00ce-4a8a-b0a1-14e363b83ad9), "national polls done in 2000 estimated between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of Canadians sought some type of complementary or alternative health care in the previous year. In a 1999 Canadian survey, conducted on behalf of the Fraser Institute, 73 per cent reported using complementary or alternative health care sometime in their life.

"The Fraser Institute survey suggests the Canadian population spent more than $1.8 billion out-of-pocket on visits to providers of alternative medicine in 1997. Additional spending on books, medical equipment, herbs, vitamins and special diet programs pushed that figure to more than $3.8 billion."

The article quoted Dr. Marja Verhoef, head of the Canada Research Chair in Complementary Medicine at the U of C's faculty of medicine, as saying that is is important to know more about the field because "people are using it a lot."

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CAM use in Canada is apparently higher than in the U.S. With the opening of this clinical training and research center for complementary therapies, Canada is moving the way forward for greater international consensus around law and policy pertaining to CAM use.