Dr. Annabelle Pabiona De Guzman as delivered an Opening Remarks during the Annual Convention of Philippine Association of Acupuncture, Inc. held at East Avenue Medical Center, Quezon City.

Opening Remarks for the 9th PAAI Convention

Philippine Academy of Acupuncture Inc., President Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, former Director Generals of the PITAHC, Dr. Alfonso Lagaya and Dr. Dr. Sid Sia,

PAAI Officers and Board Members, distinguished guests, speakers, ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning!

In behalf of the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care or PITAHC, I am very pleased to welcome you and be a part of the 9th PAAI Convention. I would like to congratulate the PAAI officers and the organizers for hosting this significant event. I am also delighted to welcome our distinguished guests and speakers, medical and non­medical a puncture practitioners from all over the country.

For thousands of years Traditional Medicine has been an important source of health care globally, especially in developing countries. In many parts of the world, different countries have adopted Traditional Medicine not only as the foundation of their primary health care but also as a part of their cultural and spiritual belief system.

Traditional Medicine has been practiced in developing countries for centuries, and as we all know, one of its popular and oldest modalities is Acupuncture. Currently, aside from the Traditional Medicine there is an increasing acceptance and use of alternative and complementary medicine in developed countries. This, we were able to witness during the sharing of best practices during our ASEAN Conference on Traditional and Alternative Medicine at the Sofitel Plaza Hotel last September 25-27, 2017.

Thus, the rising popularity and use of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) has presented a number of public health issues in developed and developing countries, and these include policy, safety and quality, efficacy, access, and appropriate use. It has also captivated more awareness within the framework of globalization of the health sector reform, health care sector, and health care provision. This is very much in synch with the thrust of the ASEAN.

The government, through the Department of Health and the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care has made collaborative efforts with our partners, stakeholders, medical and non-medical practitioners of different T&CM Modalities such as: Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and the like., in order to formulate and strengthen standards, guidelines and codes of ethical practice for each accredited T&CM modalities. Thus, we are developing standards and accreditation for the various T&CM modalities; to promote and advocate the use of traditional, alternative, preventive, and curative health care modalities that will prove them to be safe, effective, cost effective, and consistent with the government standards on medical practice; and lastly PITAHC also encourages scientific research and to develop T&CM systems that have direct impact on public health care.

Since the establishment of Philippine Academy of Acupuncture Inc., the organization has been PITAHC’s partner in the: promotion and development of training and research in acupuncture; improve the competency standard of the medical and non-medical acupuncture practitioners; and the mainstreaming of the practice of acupuncture into the grassroots community and primary health care.

I am confident that through the conduct of this yearly event, there will be an exchange of knowledge, best practices and experiences on the practice of acupuncture. I also hope that the medical and non-medical acupuncture practitioners will be empowered to improve their practice through further training and research.

In the field of Research, PITAHC promises to support your endeavours in this area as we can both provide funding and support. Many researches have been done on Herbal medicine but very few in the area of our Traditional and Alternative medicine modalities. Thus, I pose a challenge to our practitioners to embark in this area to make the practice of Acupuncture truly evidence based and scientific.

Even if the situations seem impossible, our work is to “hope in God “. Then our hope will not be in vain because in God’s timing, help will eventually come. (George Muller ) And I think that the right timing for Acupuncture has now come. We hope to incorporate the practice of Acupuncture into the National Health Care system and eventually into Universal health care wherein your services as acupuncturists will be recognized by the government with remunerations from the health care system.

Although this might seem to be a tall order for now, with your cooperation and with God’s guidance, we hope to pave the way. So let’s work together to advance and broaden our practice so that we can use the knowledge and skills given by our Creator to help our countrymen to improve and achieve optimum health.

In closing, I would like to leave this verse to members and guests of PAAI, Ephesians 3:16-17 says — “I pray that out of the glorious riches God may strengthen us with His Power, and through His Spirit, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts by Faith. “And I believe that through faith, we shall become victors and conquerors.

So let us live up to our dreams and fulfill our Vision.

Thank you very much and Mabuhay tayong Lahat!

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