Medical Board of Australia Denies Request from AIMA to Retract Consultation Paper

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On the 20th of March 2019 the Australian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA) as a peak voice for integrative medicine formally wrote to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) requesting an immediate and full retraction of the ‘public consultation paper on clearer regulation of medical practitioners who provide complementary and unconventional medicine and emerging treatments.’

On the 28th of March 2019 AIMA have reported that the MBA have denied that request and that the public consultation on the proposed guidelines would continue as planned.

The MBA has advised that AIMA’s objections to the guidelines would be taken into account as part of the public consultation process.

In liaising with MBA on this matter, AIMA’s has raised five primary concerns:

  1. That the proposed guidelines are unnecessary
  2. That the guidelines don’t conform to COAG Principles for best practice regulation
  3. That the scope of the proposed guidelines is poorly defined creating ambiguity and uncertainty
  4. That the amalgamation of three disparate groups into one definition is not scientific
  5. That there has been a lack of procedural fairness in the development of the proposed guidelines

AIMA maintains that, if adopted, the guidelines would compromise integrative doctors’ practise.

What can be done?

To get a stronger understanding of the threat these guidelines may pose to the practice of integrative medicine, you can listen to the FX Medicine interviews with Dr Penny Caldicott, president of AIMA and Professor Stephen Myers from Southern Cross University as they break down the issues with this consultation process. Dr Mark Donohoe and Prof Myers have also written a critique on these guidelines which they've allowed us to share on FX Medicine. Marcus Blackmore also felt compelled by this issue and penned an open letter about the Medical Board consultation. 

More resources on how to be actively involved and to have your say can be found at


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Rebecca Guild
Rebecca is a Naturopath having graduated in 2003 with an Adv.Dip Naturopathy and Western Herbal Medicine. Rebecca has worked in pharmacy, her own clinic and for one of Australia's largest professional supplement companies, and more recently as the editor and curator for FX Medicine. Rebecca is now involved in complementary medicine education, sales and marketing, digital & social media and is a passionate advocate of naturopathic medicine in the Integrative Health Model. She has a special interest in the regulatory landscape of naturopathic medicine and likes to inspire current and future students to strive for meaningful careers in the industry.