Use of Alternative Medicine Essay

1270 Words 6 Pages
Use of Alternative Medicine There has been an explosion of interest and use of alternative
medicines and an increase in the numbers and visits to alternative
practitioners in Australia (Furnham A, Mcgill C 2003). Complementary
and Alternative medicine, also known as Traditional medicine covers a
broad range of healing philosophies, approaches and therapies. Many
therapies are termed 'holistic', which generally means that the
healthcare practitioner considers the whole person, including
physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects (Moon G, Gillespie R
1995). These forms of medicine have evolved recently as a reaction to
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In Australia,
research has indicated that in 1993, 48.5% of the population used at
least one non-medically prescribed alternative medicine. A$1 000
million is the estimated national expenditure on alternative medicines
and alternative practitioners per annum, of which A$621 million is
spent on alternative medicines. An Australian government report in
1996 estimated that there were at least 2.8 million traditional
Chinese medicine consultations in 1996, representing an annual
turnover of A$84 million within the health economy
[http://www.wpro.who.int/pdf/rcom51/hsd-1e.pdf]

The Australian health-care systems has expanded and changed remarkably
in recent years (Ritenburgh C, Verhoel M et.al.) Medical practices
outside the mainstream of 'official' medicine have always been an
important part of public health care. The prominence and configuration
of these irregulars as they were called, has waxed depending on the
needs of the public, perceptions of modern medicine and the changing
values of society (Kats DL, Williams AL et. al 2003) A survey
conducted in 1994 revealed that reasons for alternative health care
use included 'a holistic orientation to health; having had a
transformational experience that changed the person's world view; and
a classification…