Governing Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Brazil and Portugal

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Joana ALMEIDA, Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom
Pamela SIEGEL, State University of Campinas, Brazil
Nelson BARROS, University of Campinas, Brazil, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
Sociological research on the governance of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Western societies has vastly increased in the last decades. Yet there has been a less marked expression of qualitative studies which put such governance into comparative perspective. Furthermore, research has shown that CAM regulation in Western countries has been very diverse, and so is probably best conceptualised on a spectrum containing several regulatory models. This paper investigates CAM’s modes of governance in two historically, culturally and politically related countries, Brazil and Portugal. It analyses: (1) the extent to which CAM governance has changed over time in these two countries; (2) the main modes of CAM governance in these same countries, and (3) the implications of these modes of CAM governance for CAM professionals themselves and the public. We conclude that Brazil and Portugal present some similar patterns in the way they govern CAM, but also contrasting differences, particularly in relation to the status of these therapies with the public and the private healthcare systems, and the implications of this status for CAM professionals themselves and the wider public.