The traditional medical establishment fears the mainstreaming of alternative medical practices so much that a group of doctors and scientists in Australia are asking the country’s university policy makers not to allow courses in alternative medicine to be offered.
The Friends of Science in Medicine, as they call themselves, say they are worried about the increasing number of “pseudo-science” courses they say are not based on scientific principles and experimental evidence. They believe that universities would lend undeserved credibility to what they describe as “quackery.”
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, about one in three Australian universities now offers courses in some form of alternative therapy or complementary medicine, including traditional Chinese herbal medicine, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, reflexology and aromatherapy.
Friends of Science in Medicine co-founder John Dwyer, a government adviser on “consumer health fraud,” says government funding for alternative medicine courses in subjects like Chinese herbal medicine and chiropractic should cease. He also believes that Australia’s government health insurance should stop reimbursing for alternative treatments altogether.
German and British medical insurance providers are also in the process of removing alternative therapies from the list of treatments they will cover.