Australia: In 2010 Australian chiropractors Dr. Angus Steventon and Dr. Bryce Conrad established a multidisciplinary primary care clinic in North Gosford, New South Wales.Since then, the Australian government has established a GP Super Clinic program with $650 million for 60 clinics nationwide. As announced by the government, "Australia needs a health care system that keeps people well, not just one that looks after them when they are sick." The first of the 10 objectives of the Super Clinic program is "to provide their patients with well-integrated multidisciplinary patient centered care."
One of the 60 is the Reliance GP Super Clinic in West Gosford; Drs. Conrad and Steventon are two of the three chiropractors at this clinic, which was opened by then-Minister for Health, the Honorable Tanya Plibersek, on Aug. 7, 2013. The clinic has 17 general practitioners (GPs), three chiropractors, three physiotherapists, three exercise physiotherapists, two psychologists, a podiatrist, nurses, radiographers, and a mix of medical specialists.
Canada: In the province of Ontario, with a population of 13 million and over 3,000 doctors of chiropractic, Minister of Health Deb Matthews made the biggest policy announcement for the chiropractic profession in Canada on Oct. 5, 2013: Chiropractors are now eligible for inclusion in the new government-funded primary care networks being established across the province – and to which all primary care physicians must belong by 2020. This includes Family Health Teams and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics.
In addition, chiropractors will be an integral part of a government Primary Care Lower Back Pilot Program being established and tested for improved management of back pain patients, and to then be incorporated in the new primary care networks.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association reports extensive – even overwhelming – activity to incorporate chiropractic services since that time. "These are the most significant policy advances for the chiropractic profession in Ontario for the past decade," said OCA Executive Director Dr. Bob Haig.
China: For the third consecutive year, Dr. Eric Chu of Hong Kong, vice president of the Chiropractic Doctors' Association of Hong Kong and treasurer of the Chiropractors' Association of China, visited Beijing for China's National Day celebration on Oct. 1, 2013. He did so as part of an officially-sponsored 25-person delegation from Hong Kong consisting of members of the Legislative Council (elected government), corporate CEOs, and leaders of professional associations.
There were several high-level government meetings during the five-day visit, at venues such as the China Academy of Governance, the Beijing Office of the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Ministry of Commerce, where Dr. Chu discussed licensure of chiropractic in China on a similar basis to the laws in Hong Kong.
The social highlight of Dr. Chu's experience was joining over 3,000 invitees at the state dinner at the People's Congress Hall at Tiananmen Square. Dr. Chu was listed in the guest list as a chiropractor.
India: The Indian Association of Chiropractic Doctors (IACD) has commenced an ongoing program consisting of two charitable mission trips annually to help camps and facilities operated by the Sant Nirankari Mission of India, an all-embracing spiritual movement that cuts across all divisions of cast, color and creed. The IACD looks forward to having the support of other chiropractic organizations and colleges for these missions.
The first trip, supported by Life Chiropractic College West (Life West), was to a conference and health camp for 1.7 million people in New Delhi Nov. 23-25, 2013. The mission was led by IACD President Dr. Amit Jimmy Nanda and Life West President Dr. Brian Kelly. IACD members who participated included Dr. Shiv Bajaj (Delhi), Dr. Vidur K. Jain (Delhi), Dr. Natasha Patel (Vadodara, Gujrat), Dr. Alison Bale (Goa), and Dr. Will Thompson (Goa), along with Dr. Jessica Farrell (Buffalo, N.Y.).
Other leaders of the Life West team were Dr. Anatole Bogatski, executive vice president; and Dr. Mary Flannery, dean of admissions. Life West sees the need to bring chiropractic to India's 1.2 billion people. For this purpose, it has committed to future charity projects with the IACD and two scholarships for Indian students, who will then return to India as chiropractors.
Italy: Andrea Clementoni DC, a Palmer graduate working in multidisciplinary clinics in Bergamo, Milan and Novara, Italy, is also a lawyer. His introduction to chiropractic was as legal advisor to the Italian Chiropractic Association (IAC). Dr. Clementoni was one of several chiropractic clinician researchers presenting new research at the 8th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low-Back and Pelvic Pain, attended by over 700 health professionals and held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dubai, Oct. 27-31, 2013.
His research study, titled "Chiropractic for Chronic Radiating Back Pain Associated With Lumbar Disc Bulging and Herniation Previously Treated With Anti-Inflammatory Drugs," was performed as part of a cooperation plan between the Regional Government of Lombardy and WHO to promote clinical research into the safety and effectiveness of complementary medicine including chiropractic.
The study reported favorable results in terms of reduced pain (71.9 percent of patients who had received at least eight treatments (32 patients) had little if any pain), improved spine motion and patient quality of life, and reduction or elimination of intake of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Malta: Welcome to the Malta Chiropractic Association, the newest applicant for WFC membership in November 2013. The MCA, led by Italian-born Dr. Nicolo Orlando, represents Malta's four chiropractors.
Malta, one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries, is an island south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. The two official languages are Maltese and English. The island's location as a naval base has given it great strategic importance throughout history. Today, it is a favorite tourist destination because of its climate, recreational areas, and architectural and historical monuments, which include seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
UAE: Thirty-two chiropractors from seven countries attended the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Chiropractic Federation (EMMECF) 2013 annual meeting and seminar in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oct. 25-26, 2013. The UAE has 30 chiropractors, laws recognizing and regulating the practice of chiropractic, and a growing Emirates Chiropractic Association (ECA) led by President Dr. Mohamad Raslan.
One highlight of the national reports at the EMMECF meeting was a report from Dr. Mustafa Agaoglu, president of the Turkish Chiropractic Association, that the Turkish government has now agreed to proceed with chiropractic legislation after he met with the Turkish Minister of Health at a WHO regional meeting in Turkey in September 2013. Another highlight was a visit to the Emirates European Medical Center, the impressive clinic of ECA Past President Dr. Pamela Leader, to meet with His Highness Sheikh Manea Al Maktoum.
A patient and member of the Royal Family, Sheikh Manea expressed interest in supporting the development of chiropractic education in Dubai. As a first step, he is hosting and funding a spine care symposium jointly organized by the ECA, EMMEC and the WFC in Dubai on March 29, 2014.
Editor's note: The preceding reports are reprinted with permission from the World Federation of Chiropractic's latest Quarterly World Report (Dec. 31, 2013). To view the complete report including all country reports, visit www.wfc.org.