Education for Health

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2015  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 213--214

Public hearing on the first naturopathy curriculum in Thailand


Viroj Wiwanitkit, Wasana Kaewla 
 Department of Public Health Curriculum, Surin Rajabhat University, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Viroj Wiwanitkit
Surin Rajabhat University, Maung Surin District, Surin Province - 33000
Thailand




How to cite this article:
Wiwanitkit V, Kaewla W. Public hearing on the first naturopathy curriculum in Thailand.Educ Health 2015;28:213-214


How to cite this URL:
Wiwanitkit V, Kaewla W. Public hearing on the first naturopathy curriculum in Thailand. Educ Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Sep 25 ];28:213-214
Available from: http://www.educationforhealth.net/text.asp?2015/28/3/213/178601


Full Text

Dear Editor,

Naturopathy is an important health practice. Naturopathy is a medical system that focuses on disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment based on natural processes. For naturopathy, the principal modalities are diet, herbs, massage and exercise. The system has been accepted as an important system of alternative medicine since the 2002 WHO declaration of alternative medicine use, “freedom of choice among different health-care options.”[1] Naturopathy is now being more widely implemented worldwide. It is practiced in a variety of countries, including to USA, Canada and India. In 2015, the World Naturopathy Federation was established with members from all continents.

An important challenge to the implementation of naturopathy is the standardization of health training and practice within and across countries.[2] Indeed, according to the WHO, developing an adequate worldwide standardized curriculum is the current principal need to improve naturopathy practice.[1] Specific naturopathy curricula and standards of practice have been established in several countries over the past few years, including Canada and the USA.[2] In India, naturopathy is a widely accepted health care practice.[3] Singh et al. recently reported on public health experts' comments on naturopathy practice in India, who concluded that a “lack of quality education was mentioned as major factor responsible for current scenario of Indian systems of medicine and homoeopathy by most of experts.”[4]

Thailand has just established a naturopathy curriculum, and naturopathy is now accepted by Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Thai Ministry of Public Health. But the implementation of naturopathy training has just begun. There are fewer than 10 naturopathy practitioners in Thailand, and all are certified by foreign boards (Canada and USA). A specific system for setting and managing naturopathy education across Thailand has not yet been established. In 2014, the first naturopathic curriculum was set at Thailand's Surin Rajabhat University.[5] To strengthen the curriculum, a public hearing was set in order to receive comments to help structure and lead to the approval of the naturopathy curriculum, that could be used to establish a curriculum for the entire country. The public hearing was called and ran by the Surin Rajabhat University with contributions from governmental and private agencies in Thailand, including the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Education and Health Care Professional Council. The principal aim of the public hearing was to learn of local health professionals' and educationists' perceptions of the new curriculum and to plan a process for its ongoing improvement. About 300 local experts, including physicians, other health care professionals (both modern and alternative practice) and educationists contributed to the public hearing, sharing their ideas about the curricula. Based on the public hearing, the curricula was approved and now expected to be applied to the local health system.

Comments from the public health and natural medicine experts who attended the hearing, setting and implementing this first naturopathy curriculum in Thailand was perceived to be useful and also perceived to be a useful way to reform other aspects of Thailand's health care system. Attendees of this public hearing, also suggested adding specific Thai local naturopathy traditions into the curriculum, including Thai herbal massage and, Buddhist medicine.

 Acknowledgement



The authors acknowledge Associate Professor Atchara Phanurat, Chancellor of Surindra Rajabhat University who give support and advice on the curricula development and public hearing process in this report.

References

1WHO. Benchmarks for Training in Naturopathy. Available from: . [Last accessed on 2015 Jun 30].
2Fleming SA, Gutknecht NC. Naturopathy and the primary care practice. Prim Care 2010;37:119-36.
3Shankar D. Health sector reforms for 21st century healthcare. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2015;6:4-9.
4Singh B, Kumar M, Singh A. Evaluation of implementation status of national policy on Indian systems of medicine and homeopathy 2002: Stakeholders' perspective. Anc Sci Life 2013;33:103-8.
5Wiwanitkit V. Natural medicine curriculum development: A novel public health education promotion in Thailand. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2015;8:219. Available from: .