Unconventional, Complementary and Emerging Medicine

The Medical Board of Australia has created a new draft of guidelines for emerging, complementary, and unconventional medicine practitioners. 

What Medical Practitioners Need to Know

“Surveys indicate that around 30% of all GPs self-identify as using some form of complementary or integrative medicine,” says AIMA president Dr Penny Caldicott.

This highlights the importance for all medical practitioners to be aware and to better educate themselves on complementary and alternative medicine practices. In particular, better understanding of the many issues, ranging from innovations, off-label prescribing, and emerging treatments, through to experimental and unconventional  medicine.

The draft guidelines apply to doctors who practise in these three types of medicine; or those who do not, but who have patients who do use such treatments. Of interest was that the Board raised particular concerns about stem cell therapies, alternative cancer treatments, and anti-ageing treatments.

Tego Supports Clear Guidance 

Tego Insurance, as medical indemnity insurance providers, offering medical professional indemnity insurance, medical malpractice insurance and more; supports clear guidance for doctors practising in emerging, complementary and unconventional medicine. We also understand the potential for confusion and uncertainty the draft guidelines pose, and all the issues covering a myriad of diverse and different practices, both conventional and unconventional.

For all doctors, the Board proposes a wide range of obligations that a doctor has to adhere to in regards to a patient’s medicine use; from considering this type of healthcare as part of ongoing care, to advising the patient of the limited evidence for some treatments and to be aware of possible financial implications.

For doctors practising in emerging, complementary, and unconventional and medicine, a myriad of added obligations are proposed in regards to conflicts of interest,  expertise, informed consent, advertising, ongoing care and assessment and treatment. A key theme is to ensure the patient understands the level of evidence for recommended treatments and how they compare with other conventional treatment options.

Tego to the rescue

Tego Insurance believes the focus should be on developing guidelines for complementary and unconventional medicine first.  ‘Emerging’ medicine within a conventional medicine context, such as off-label prescribing and developing practices, should require different custom developed guidelines.

In conclusion

The Tego Insurance team wants to help.  If you would like specific advice about your circumstances, please contact us! Tego Insurance offers medical indemnity insurance for medical practitioners. We have a profound understanding of the Australian medical profession and the ever-changing healthcare industry. It’s this expertise that allows us to provide leading cover with more choice, innovation and greater flexibility. 

This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss su­ffered in connection with the use of this information.