In the spirit of the WHO definition of health, EUROCAM´s vision is:
- Of a society which seeks the optimum health of its citizens largely achieved by encouraging and enabling citizens to take responsibility for the maintenance and promotion of their own health whilst also acknowledging freedom of choice in selecting appropriate treatment from a variety of healthcare options, including CAM. In addition, EUROCAM submits that citizens should have access to reliable information supporting effective and safe health provision that includes relevant CAM options. CAM should be available, accessible and affordable at both national and European level.
- Of a paradigm shift that moves the focus of healthcare away from a primarily treatment-oriented agenda to one which also engages people more directly in their personal health and well-being thereby preventing illness and prolonging life. EUROCAM supports the notion of salutogenesis – that is to an approach that primarily supports health and well-being, rather than focusing on factors that cause disease.
- Of a holistic approach to the maintenance and health care of European citizens that takes into account the psycho-spiritual, corporeal and social needs of each individual.
- Of a ‘One-health’ approach to health that embraces the understanding that the physical and mental health of the animals we live with and that we rely on for food is given equal importance and consideration to that of humans. In this respect the provision of healthy environments and healthy diets for animals should be of equal importance in maintaining their good health as well providing the benefits of CAM modalities in their treatment as and when appropriate.
- That the best of conventional medicine and CAM are thoroughly integrated into healthcare schemes for the benefit of European citizens who are free to make an informed choice about treatment they require so there is no dichotomy in the delivery of excellent healthcare.
This means that CAM should be integrated into:
- social, education and health policy, both on a national and a European level.
- healthcare systems both as complementary and/or alternative to conventional medical care whilst also having the opportunity of being offered independently and privately.
The mission of EUROCAM is to realise our vision through agreed joint strategy and actions on the part of the Stakeholder Group.
Such a strategy includes:
- Engagement in the development of EU policies relating to public health, animal health, healthcare and research at all levels of the social and political context.
- Involvement and participation in relevant EU programmes
- Advocacy work at EU and national level in pursuit of the stated aims of EUROCAM (see above)
- Strengthening the co-operation and purpose of CAM stakeholders in pursuit of these stated aims.
- Cooperation with like-minded NGOs and other relevant organisations.
- Seeking access to EU funding wherever feasible.
EUROCAM unites European umbrella organisations of patients, doctors, practitioners and veterinarians with different backgrounds in the field of CAM, all of whom subscribe to the objectives of EUROCAM and have democratic membership and decision-making structures and procedures.
Collaboration between the various parties within EUROCAM seeks to achieve mutual advantage in several ways, e.g. through sharing costs, by increasing the influence and visibility of constituent organisations and by achieving shared aims as well as sharing knowledge, strategies and contacts. In combining their human and financial resources, EUROCAM’s constituent organisations work collaboratively while remaining separate organisations.
The main aim of EUROCAM is to achieve a significant political presence within the EU so as to influence the decision making of the European Commission, European Parliament, Council of the EU and the Member States to support and provide the means for the integration of CAM into European healthcare systems as well as to fund research into its benefits and cost effectiveness. This collaboration recognises the stated wish of the EU institutions to deal with the CAM sector as a whole.
- Highlighting the scope and potential of CAM to key politicians and policy makers so that CAM is fully taken into account when policy is formulated.
- Establishing the (added) value of CAM for relevant EU policies and programmes mirroring the Health in All Policies (HiAP) agenda.
- Demonstrating the value of patient-focused and cost-effective treatments via CAM services and products.
- Demonstrating to health and finance authorities that CAM can deliver significant benefit in terms of health economics.