Differing approaches to regulation worldwide has resulted in great difficulty in determining the specific number of Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM) practitioners. Within developing countries T&CM practitioners are the sole providers of healthcare, however in other countries they can be divided into a number of categories based on training, education and registration status. Within Europe there are 160,000 non-medical practitioners while India has over 785,000. India has a successful institutionalised education systems with more than 500 colleges with annual admission of 25,000 undergraduate students and out of these colleges 117 are also admitting 2,493 postgraduate students. In India students learn about general medicine, healthcare and disease and then either specialise in homeopathy or pharmacology.
In Europe T&CM regulation and registration is not well established, with insurance being partially covered by public and private insurance companies. However there are an increasing number of medical professionals who are interested in T&CM. In France many doctors are specialist in Homeopathy and Acupuncture. Belgium’s Socialist Mutual Insurance of Tournai-Ath, will partially reimburses complementary and alternative treatments such as homeopathic remedies. In Finland these treatments are covered by social insurance, and in Germany public and private insurance provides the same coverage for some alternative and complementary treatment. Vietnam TM practitioners can practice in public & private hospitals, also in clinics where government insurance fully covers them. In many countries T&CM is well integrated into their national health symptoms, for example Switzerland.
The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy was established to promote the safe use of products, practices and for practitioners. It is the key responsibilities of the Member States to protect the health of their populations ensuring the safety of T&CM practices by managing any described risk effectively. Differences between countries are apparent in the type of supervisory structures put in place by governments in order to develop policies and regulate T&CM products, practices and practitioners.