It is a tug of war. Each blaming the other of breaching ethical standards and uncouth practices of delivering healthcare.
Often times, mainstream medicine can’t give patients the news they would like to hear. Visiting alternative practitioners who then shower them with phrases and words like “cure”, “no side effects” and “natural”, makes this avenue an ‘obvious’ and preferred choice.
Preying on insecurities of patients is wrong based on common sense. However, regulation of alternative practitioners is poor. The Government’s attempt to regulate this industry is feeble. Hence, many alternative practitioners continue to spew half truth and unscientific claims in order to tempt vulnerable patients with their purportedly superior treatment.
However, discounting alternative practitioners and engaging in an all out war, is probably not the best strategy either. Being in Asia, it would be ideal if we can complement each other. Respecting the roles that we can play, ultimately with the aim of making patients better. Both practitioners will then be held responsible for the health of the patients they manage.
The courts must then recognize and hold all practitioners of health liable should a medicolegal case arise. Alternative practitioners should be no different. After all, they should and are responsible for what they claim that they can do.
Similarly, authorities must impose the same standards for mainstream and alternative medical practitioners. If both are to see each other as equal, then there must be an equality in terms of standards of practice.
The Government cannot promote alternative medicine without a proper framework in place. It is after all about protecting the interests of the population.