Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Safety of Health

The first question I'm often asked is "How safe are these complementary and alternative therapies?" My first response is that none of them kill 100,000 people every year but that's how many people die from hospital infections.

Today I have a better answer because according to the New England Journal of Medicine report most children don't receive proper care. While 68% receive proper care for acute medical problems only 53% receive the correct care for chronic health problems and just 41% get the right treatment for preventative care.

In radio interviews I often tell the story/joke about the two fishermen saving drowning people and how they represent mainstream medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) looks for the source of the problem, the maniac on the bridge upstream throwing innocent pedestrians into the river. The latest report demonstrates that the story isn't far from the truth.

Medicine in America does a great job of treating acute problems but fails at preventative care. It's almost like the medical system doesn't want to lose any customers, isn't it? More and more doctors are becoming specialists to treat the acute problems leaving America with 1/3 fewer general practitioners than other industrialized countries to offer preventative care.

Every news report about failures in the current medical system should open the eyes of every person in the country to other, often better, options called complementary and alternative therapies.

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