Challenging new MBA guidelines on IM

As many of you may be aware the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) has commenced a public consultation on new guidelines for ‘complementary and unconventional medicine and emerging treatments‘.  In the rationale to these guidelines integrative medicine (IM), and AIMA, are specifically mentioned.  Our concern is that, if adopted, these guidelines and the associated discussion paper/rationale would create a 2 tiered system which could threaten the practice of IM and lead to integrative medicine doctors being unfairly and unreasonably targeted. (read the guidelines here)

Last week AIMA met with representatives of the Medical Board of Australia including the MBA Chair, Dr Anne Tonkin.  In this meeting we were assured that these guidelines were not intended to target IM but rather were specifically aimed at unsafe practices.  While we accept this reassurance at face value, the actuality is that as IM is specifically mentioned in the rationale, these guidelines COULD apply to us.  The MBA seemed receptive to listening to our concerns and agreed to extend the consultation process by four weeks to allow our community time to respond.

Even if these guidelines were not intended to target IM this is precisely what the discussion paper does.

It is imperative that we, as a community, come together to challenge the adoption of these guidelines.  AIMA and a number of other IM organisations (ACNEM, A5M, BioBalance Health, ACIIDS, NICM) and independent doctors have been meeting to coordinate our responses to the guidelines.  Each organisation will be making a response specific to their concerns and area of practice. However, this is not enough.  We need you, our community, to let the MBA know how these guidelines could effect your practice and impact on your patients’ freedom of choice.

What can you do?

  • Become a member of AIMA – build a thriving peak body advocating for IM
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to AIMA to fund our campaign and advocacy work
  • Submit a response to the public consultation
  • Let the government – state and federal – know your thoughts on the guidelines

You can view AIMA’s major concerns with the proposed guidelines here.

Together we need to do all we can to stop the adoption of these guidelines.

Penny Caldicott