Friday, August 1, 2008

Scope of Naturopathy Practice in UAE

As a result of increasing interest and use of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) therapies in medical practices and as a necessary function of its duty to protect the public interest, the UAE Ministry of Health requires all TCAM physicians and practitioners to comply with professional, ethical and practice standards, and act as responsible agents for their patients.

The following guidelines assist in educating and regulating:
(1) TCAM practitioners who may work independently and
(2) Those TCAM practitioners who co-manage patients with licensed Medical practitioners in clinics or polyclinics and hospitals


In exercising its licensing authority the Ministry of Health has the inherent power to determine precisely the qualifications a TCAM applicant must possess. It may investigate educational credentials, professional competence, and moral character. The applicant bears the burden to prove his fulfillment of all requirements for licensure.

The practice of medicine consists of the ethical application of a body of knowledge, principles and methods known as medical science and that these objective standards are the basis of medical licensure for physicians and TCAM practitioners. Therefore no person shall practice TCAM in the UAE without first being licensed by the Ministry of Health. Successfully passing TCAM qualifying examination is a precondition for evaluation and grant of TCAM practice license.

Following is a list of M.O.H recognized TCAM specialties:

Herbal Medicine
Traditional Islamic Medicine (Unani)
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Indian Medicine (Ayurveda and Siddha)
Homeopathic Medicine
Chiropractic Medicine

Eligible qualifications for TCAM Examinations:

1. Examples of Masters level Courses (Usually 2 years Post Graduation):

Member of Faculty of Homeopathy (M. F. Hom. from Faculty of Homeopathy, UK) or equivalent Doctor of Medicine in Homeopathy (MD in Homeopathy) or equivalent
Doctor of Medicine in Ayurvedic Medicine (MD in Ayurvedic Medicine) or equivalent
Doctor of Medicine in Unani Medicine (MD in Unani Medicine) or equivalent
Doctor of Medicine in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MD or Masters in TCM)

2. Examples of Bachelor level Courses (Usually 4 to 5 ½ Years College Level Education):

Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (DC) or equivalent
Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) or equivalent
Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences (BNYS)
Bachelor in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS)
Bachelor in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Bachelor in Siddha Medicine and Surgery (BSMS)
Bachelor in Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS)
Bachelor in Osteopathy
Bachelor in Traditional Chinese Medicine

3. Examples of Diploma Level Courses (Usually 3 to 4 years College Level Education):

Diploma in Naturopathy
Diploma in Homeopathy
Diploma in Osteopathy
Diploma in Acupuncture
Diploma in Herbal Medicine

Practice Category:

The educational qualifications, depth and field of experience, and results of the TCAM examinations and recommendations from examination board would be considered for evaluating the candidates and the category for their practice.

The evaluation committee may permit the following two categories of TCAM practice privileges on the licenses:

1. Independent TCAM practice category: Usually TCAM practitioners, who have basic medical degrees or MD level qualifications in TCAM specialties or those who have extensive proven experience and/or as per recommendations of the examination board, may be awarded independent TCAM practice. These practitioners may start their own clinics or treatment centers and may employ other supporting staff like nurses, technicians and even other TCAM specialists, as per their needs and requirements.

2. Under Clinic License category: These practitioners would be permitted to work only in an established polyclinic or clinic where a licensed Medical General Practitioner is on duty. Based on the policy or decision of the management of the clinic, these TCAM practitioners may see patients directly or after referral from the resident Medical G.P.



Brief information about Licensing Exam and its preparation

An examination for a license shall be in writing and oral and if necessary practical.

The written exam shall include testing in-
a. The basic sciences including but not limited to anatomy, physiology, bacteriology, pathology, hygiene, and chemistry as related to human body or mind.
b. The clinical sciences, nutrition, preventive and public health medicine
c. Professional ethics and any other subjects that the examining board may deem advisable

The written exam generally consists of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Short-answer-objective type questions and questions based on diagrams/ pictures/ images depicting medical conditions may be also included in the written exam. MCQs may be structured in such a way that only one answer would be correct, in such a case there would be no negative markings. There may also be MCQs with multiple correct answers. In such a case, there would be negative marking for wrong answers chosen. Instructions for each type of MCQs would be clearly given during the examination. Indicate your answer by circling the appropriate letter on the question paper and also by filling in the appropriate circle on the computer answer sheet.

Here are a few examples:

1.Osteoarthritis, also called _________ , is the most common known joint disorder and the most common cause of joint pain.
. Rheumatic joint disease
. Psoriatic joint disease
. Inflamatory joint disease
. Degenerative joint disease

2. Which of the following diseases is not typically acquired from animals:
. Brucelosis
. Lyme disease
. Hepatitis A
. Mad Cow Disease

3. The pain of Mycardial Ischemia:
. Is typically induced by exercise and relieved by rest
. Radiates to the neck and jaw but not the teeth
. Rarely lasts few seconds
. Can be treated with Panadol


Candidates who successfully pass the written examination would be called for interview in their field of specialty. An examination board consisting of professionals from different specialties conducts the interviews. As per needs and requirements, the examination board may invite TCAM professionals from the private sector to assist in conducting the interviews. Successful candidates who have passed both written and oral/practical examinations would then be awarded the license to practice in their field of specialty. This would be held as soon as possible after Step 1 results are announced. (Usually within a week).

Usually 3 exams are conducted per year. You have only 3 chances to attend. 80-90% marks in theory necessary for attending the interview.
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