Members of the Organising Committee, World Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health have developed and published “The Berlin Agreement: Self-Responsibility and Social Action in Practicing and Fostering Integrative Medicine and Health Globally”, which aims to support in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in order to “foster healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages”.
The document, which can be found in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, identifies some of the key challenges which are faced in healthcare today including the rise of chronic, lifestyle related diseases and the inequality in terms of patient access to treatments. The Committee supports calls on governments and nongovernmental agencies to engage in activities that advance evidence-informed integrative care models.
The Agreement identifies the main areas of activity which need to be covered in order to enhance the delivery of healthcare, which are as follows:
- Model health
- Engaging patients (encouraging self-management of healing processes)
- Promoting interprofessionalism and team care (understanding that no single practitioner has all the answers for any given patient)
- Recognising the importance of traditional medicine in global healthcare
- Commitment to evidence-informed dialogue and practice
- Fostering whole systems research
- Bridging clinical care with prevention, community, and public health
- Stimulating collaboration
- Engaging as change agents
Successfully addressing these areas will ‘improve individual patient care and positively inﬂuence the preconditions of healthcare systems, locally and globally, to achieve optimal health and healing in the individuals, communities’, as well as the environment as a whole. The Committee are encouraging endorsements of the Agreement from organisations involved with integrative medicine.
The Berlin Agreement can be found here.