Open Letter to the Ministers for Health in Australia and New Zealand

September 2020

Dear Ministers

Integrative medicine: Essential to support the fight against COVID-19

We write to you as Integrative Medicine doctors and practitioners.

Firstly, we wanted to sincerely thank you, your departments and government for your fast and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. By acting quickly and decisively Australia/New Zealand has so far avoided much of the heartache we have seen in other countries.

However, the crisis is not over. COVID-19 and other novel viruses continue to pose a threat for Australia/New Zealand into the future. Integrative medicine, and the evidence-based nutritional and environmental treatments it incorporates into conventional practice, offers evidence based, cost effective interventions that contribute to building population health and resilience.

We write to petition that the integrative medicine approach to chronic disease in general and inflammation in particular be embedded by your government as an integral part of the COVID-19 response.

Experience shows that chronic diseases, particularly those with an inflammatory component such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia and hypertension, are important co-factors in the morbidity/mortality of patients fighting COVID-19.  Poor nutrition & micronutrient depletion are common in many of these conditions.

We have a population at all levels focused on health like never before. To quote

”Many Australians are anxious and stressed about the coronavirus, COVID-19.  You might feel a little powerless, but there are many things you can do to help strengthen your immune system and help protect yourself from many types of viruses…”

Now is the time to act.  We have a motivated population focused on their health like never before.  We – the government and health practitioners – have an obligation to grasp this unprecedented opportunity and use it to transform the health of our nation to build resilience to COVID-19 and beyond.

We call on all governments – State and Federal – to use our expertise as integrative medicine doctors and practitioners to implement community-wide nutritional and environmental strategies to treat inflammation and support immunity in our community.  We have attached references for evidence based interventions.

By combining the best evidence-based approach that conventional, nutritional and integrative approaches to healthcare have to offer, Australia/New Zealand could emerge from this crisis a healthier nation.

We would welcome the opportunity of working together to achieve that goal.

Thank you for your consideration.

Signed by integrative doctors and practitioners from Australia and New Zealand

Encl.  Attached are a selection from the thousands of references to support some of these immunity-building interventions including for Vitamin D3, Zinc and Vitamin C.

The AIMA Journal – Advances in Integrative medicine – has published a rapid review on the literature surrounding the use of a variety of treatments for acute respiratory viral infections you can view the reviews here:Vitamin D
Vitamin C

We are aware that there are positive and negative studies for many of these interventions.  As integrative medicine doctors and practitioners we have the education, knowledge and training to assess the evidence and use these substances safely through the individualised care of our patients.You can find further research articles on our website here