A group of scientists has launched a campaign against the teaching of certain ‘alternative’ health modalities in Australian universities and a passionate debate is underway.
With 6 million Australians regularly taking Complementary Medicine it is a responsibility to ensure that health care professionals have access to the highest level of education to understand different approaches for managing their health.
To simply discount the practices such as Naturopathy and Chiropractic as being ‘quackery’ is unscientific to say the least. Science is about observation and deduction and most of the medicines and practices of CAM have existed in some cases for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
Clearly the allopathic dogma of these scientists is being challenged by the prevalence of well researched peer reviewed papers that are appearing at increasing levels in many of the world’s prestigious medical journals. It is surely an anathema to the detractors of ‘alternative’ medicine that more than one in three of all medical consultations in Australia is with an alternate medical practitioner driven no doubt by consumer acceptance.
There is an urgent need to do more research which given the lack of substantial support from government, is largely dependent on the institutional support that universities can and are undertaking given the fact that 70% of the Australian population are users of complementary medicine.
I urge this group of scientists to open their minds; they may well find that the practices of Complementary Medicine and allopathic medicine can co-exist in our community and that our patients will be the benefactors.
University education provides important training for Complementary Medicine practitioners. These courses are renowned for their ability to create research literate practitioners who are able to provide high quality evidence-based therapies to the three quarters of Australians who take complementary medicines regularly. In addition, university education adds to the ability of Complementary Medicine to continue its vital role in contributing to the improvement of global health outcomes.