Regulating complementary, unconventional and emerging treatments in Australia: a missed opportunity

Miriam Wiersma, Ian H Kerridge, Cameron L Stewart and Wendy L Lipworth
Med J Aust 2021; 215 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51214
Published online: 6 September 2021

What now for the regulation of complementary, unconventional and emerging treatments following the Medical Board of Australia’s decision not to revise its guidelines?

On 16 February 2021, the Medical Board of Australia announced that it will not be introducing new guidelines regarding medical practitioners’ use of complementary, unconventional and emerging treatments.1 Instead, it will continue to rely on its existing framework as outlined in the Good medical practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia (the Code).2 The reasons for doing so, according to its Chairperson, Dr Anne Tonkin, were that the current guidelines were sufficient for managing unconventional practice and that there were significant issues in adequately defining “complementary”, “alternative” and “emerging” practice.3

  • 1 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, NSW

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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