Recent meetings in the Kingdom of Bahrain have involved interest in complementary medicine, health and wellness in the region.
In visits to the Bahrain College of Health Sciences and the Bahrain Wellness Resort, we have shared clinical and research concerns as well as legal and regulatory issues regarding the integration of complementary and alternative medicine into conventional health care.
CAM therapies are prevalent in the region owing to the influence of Ayurvedic medicine from nearby India, the availability of acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine from nearby Asian nations, interest in homeopathy from European populations, the presence of massage therapists among the region’s many spas, and consumer interest in herbal medicine and dietary supplements.
As in the U.S., issues of licensing, regulation and quality assurance leave many questions. Yet as chaotic as the regulatory environment in the U.S. may seem at times, it is even less developed in the Gulf region as institutions and government ministries are only beginning to formulate policy. This creates opportunity for fruitful translation of legal expertise across the different systems. Indeed, many legal and regulatory issues are common to both the U.S. and the Gulf states. These include questions of licensure, scope of practice and credentialing; malpractice liability and risk management; prevention of fraud and abuse; and ensuring of privacy and confidentiality.
May this visit deepen friendships and connection, and help bring even greater health and prosperity to the peoples of our various nations and of the Earth.