Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) Enforces Alternative Medicine Rules

The Central Private Medical Practice Department at the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) has warned alternative medicine practitioners to abide by licensing rules.

As reported in "Stick to new rules or face legal action: MoH" in the Khaleej Times Online (Nada S. Mussallam, 20 November 2005), CAM providers must follow new rules "adopted in the wake of violations committed by some practitioners licensed to serve at the private sector and discovered by health authorities."

Roughly corresponding to U.S. licensure, "no one is allowed to practise complementary and non-conventional medicine in the UAE without prior permission from the UAE Health Regulatory Authorities," specifically the 'Private Medical Licensing Committee' at the ministry.

The article quoted a minister as stating that under the rules, complementary and alternative medicine practitioners are not allowed to prescribe 'IV injections and prescribed medications. They are not allowed to perform any surgical procedure or any inoculation or injections as well as blood withdrawals (except those licensed to practice cupping and ozone therapy under special permission); they may not treat patients with acute or critical conditions who need immediate emergency medical care; they may not dispense or sell any kind of medicine (whether natural, dietary supplement, OTC or ethical, registered or not registered) from their clinics; should not claim that they are able to treat cancers or incurable diseases; and are not allowed to treat communicable diseases.

In practice, however, it may be difficult to distinguish notions of "treatment" (i.e., for specific diseases) from general claims by practitioners to help promote wellness.