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UAE to allow alternative medicine practitioners to take exam back home

Alternative and complementary medicine practitioners from foreign countries will soon be able to write exams to get the UAE licence to practise in their home countries, Gulf News has learnt.

A proposal in this regard has been in the consideration of the national committee regulating the policy, procedures and scope of practice of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines (TCAM), a senior official said on Thursday.

“We have already proposed this to the committee and it is in the process of allowing the written exam for TCAM internationally through approved centres,” Dr Saifullah Khalid Adamji, coordinator for TCAM Unit of the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.

Set up in 2002, the TCAM Unit under the Private Medical Licensing Department of the ministry regulates the licensing and practice of TCAM practitioners. Foreign professionals wishing to seek licence in the UAE need to appear for a written theory exam and an oral exam to clear the licensing procedures.

Dr Adamji said by next year, applicants from abroad will be able to take the written exam through approved centres in their home countries. “They will have to come here in person only for the oral exam once they pass the written exam.”

He said the move will encourage more applications for assessment. “There will be more practitioners and it will also create a positive impact on the economy with more clinics opening for them.”

This approval was one of the requests put forward by Indian practitioners attending the first International AYUSH Conference and Exhibition which began in Dubai on Thursday.

Dr Adamji said the UAE ministry’s move will not just benefit the practitioners licensed by the Indian Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), but TCAM practitioners from other countries as well.

“India is a major country sending practitioners of ayurveda, homeopathy and unani to the UAE. But we also have many TCAM specialists from China for acupuncture and the UK and Canada for naturopathy,” he said.

About 450 licensed TCAM practitioners are currently practising in the UAE.

Shripad Yasso Naik, Indian Minister for AYUSH and Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, the secretary to the ministry, said the ministry would support the UAE in this regard.

They said the ministry also provides scholarships to foreign nationals who wish to study AYUSH streams of medicines in Indian universities and colleges. They invited applications from Emiratis and other non-Indian residents of the UAE for the scholarship which they can apply through the Indian missions in the UAE.

Source: Gulf News

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