By MOHAMMED IQBAL
DOHA: A new law is in the making to organise and regulate the practice of alternative medicine like homeopathy and ayurveda in the country, a senior official of the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has said.
The law will enable setting up of clinics and hospitals providing treatment in branches of alternative medicine.
The Healthcare Quality Management Department at SCH, which is responsible for licensing and monitoring private healthcare facilities and practitioners, is working on the law with other departments.
“The draft is ready and it has been submitted to other sections such as the Pharmacy and Drug Control Department for their recommendations. Once this process is completed, the draft will be referred to the bodies concerned for the required legal and legislative procedures to issue the law,” Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, director of the Healthcare Quality Management Department told The Peninsula. He said a separate law had become necessary to regulate this sector due to the complex nature of alternative medicine. The authorities have realised the need for organising this sector to provide more healthcare options and due to the increasing demand for alternative medicine in the country.
“Compared to conventional medicine, it is more difficult to regulate the practice of alternative medicine. In the absence of clear rules and standards, fake medicines and fake practitioners can enter the industry posing a threat to public health. The new law is intended to prevent such dangers,” added Al Khanji.
He said the law will define the branches of alternative medicine that will be permitted in the country and lay down rules regarding the facilities, practitioners, mode of treatment, medicines, among other issues.
Practice of alternative medicine is not banned in Qatar, but the authorities have restricted issuance of licences to facilities and practitioners in this sector in the absence of a comprehensive law.
The Healthcare Quality Management Department at SCH that is being converted into a new entity will be responsible for licensing and monitoring healthcare facilities and practitioners offering alternative medicine, said Al Khanji. The Peninsula