ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Health Ministry has been planning to give Turkish hospitals authority to take up new traditional and complementary medicine practices, including blood-letting, in order to reduce medicine costs, minimize the addiction to chemical medication and fight against illegal activities done with the use of traditional medicines.
In line with this, doctors will be able to prescribe herbal drugs and alternative medicine to patients who do not have to use chemical medication or cancer patients for whom the medication does not work anymore.
According to the report, the Health Ministry objects to the term “alternative medicine” and says it is no different from modern medicine as it will depend on the individual’s own will.
It is, however, still not clear how much the Social Security Institution will cover regarding the new techniques and medicines.
The new techniques to be introduced to hospitals include acupuncture, leech therapy mesotherapy, hypnosis, blood-letting, phytotherapy, reflexology, homeopathy, osteopathy, ozone, apitherapy, prolotherapy and musicotherapy.
The ministry aims to reduce patients’ use of antibiotics with the introduction of the new techniques.
The report cited authorities as saying that traditional and complementary medicine practices are used in countries like the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, adding that the World Health Organization supports Turkey regarding these practices.
“The fact that these kinds of herbal products will be used instead of antibiotics fits modern medicine. Modern medicine will be checking on these new practices with experiments and observations,” ministry authorities said.
The Health Ministry will hold a congress on the traditional and complementary medicine practices in Istanbul between April 19 and 22.
The congress is expected to host 293 scientists from 30 countries as well as a representative from the World Health Organization.
As of January 2018, there are 18 centers and 480 units working on traditional and complementary medicine practices in Turkey.
It has also been reported that 4,954 certificates have been issued in 14 fields.