Traditional medicinal methods ranging from the use of leeches to bloodletting will be available as alternative treatment options in state-run hospitals in Turkey, under new regulations.
The Health Ministry has introduced a regulation for "traditional and complementary medicine" recently to include alternative medicine in treatment options available to patients, providing proper certification for people trained in those treatment methods.
The ministry sets out guidelines on 14 alternative treatment methods and how and when they can be practised.
The alternative medicine treatments that will be offered at state-run hospitals across the country will include acupuncture, apitherapy - which uses products of honeybees - phytotherapy or the use of herbs, hypnosis, bloodletting, use of medicinal leeches, homeopathy, use of sterile larvae, mesotherapy, prolotherapy, ozone therapy and reflexology.
A science committee will be set up at the Health Ministry to regulate alternative medicine. The committee will be responsible for monitoring the treatment methods and likely side effects. "Alternative and complementary medicine" resources will only be used by certificed physicians and in certified hospitals. The regulation will also allow private companies to open alternative medicine clinics.