Integrative Health Ecosystems

Integrative Health Ecosystems

This project seeks to strengthen the integrative health ecosystem in Bulgaria through collaborative social innovation. It focuses on developing the capabilities of entrepreneurs active in the ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ (CAM) sector, and in particular SMEs providing CAM services in the field of oncology care.

Elsewhere in Europe, notably the Nordics, Germany and Spain, the advance of integrative medicine and health has seen the emergence of enabling policy and economic frameworks for more coordinated and holistic care. This is particularly critical for chronic conditions and serves to deliver improvement in treatment and quality of life outcomes, for instance in the context of oncology care.

Important precedents include Norway’s national initiative NAFKAM and its CAM-Cancer, the Nordic Integrative Medicine initiative, Swedish Hospital’s Integrated Cancer Care, the provision of Integrative Oncology at the German Oncology Center, or Spain’s Holistic Medical and Oncology Institute, the Imohe.

CAM entrepreneurs are the ‘hidden social entrepreneurs’ of the health sector, who face far higher hurdles in Bulgaria than elsewhere in Europe. This is due to the absence of an overall health and economic framework for such services in Bulgaria, but also to the observably lower levels of development and support for social entrepreneurship and social innovation.

Under this project, we will aim to foster the establishment of a CAM network and digital platform in Bulgaria and build bridges towards healthcare facilities. The processes of collaborative social innovation will be brought to bear to unlock CAM entrepreneurs’ potential to contribute in a more systemic way to the healthcare sector and to deliver better life outcomes in oncology care.

The project is under development and expected to start in mid- 2023. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information or to explore avenues for collaboration!