More Australians turning to alternative medication
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More Australians turning to alternative medication

Many medical professionals have a low opinion of alternative medicine, however new research has shown that these methods are widely used by consumers in Australia.

According to Roy Morgan Research, 9.4 per cent of Australians paid for an alternative medical service. These included aromatherapy, iridology, reflexology and acupuncture.

Despite the bad reputation, the government believes there is a place for alternative medicine, viewing it as complementary to the services doctors can provide. In fact, 53 per cent of those who went to an alternative provider also visited the doctor within the four-week period. This accounted for 969,000 of the 5,126,000 total doctors visits in the average month – around a fifth of all visits. 

When it comes to the decision of whether or not to recommend complementary medicines to your patients, there are a number of factors that must be considered. According to the Victorian government's health division, the Therapeutic Goods Administration does not test these methods for effectiveness. While they may indeed be safe, it may not offer any real benefits beyond perception of improvement. 

Clinical trial data must also be approached with a critical eye and procedures must only be recommenced if there is clear evidence that it will work. For the most part, this doesn't seem to be the case.

The National Health and Medical Research Council conducted a comprehensive assessment into the effectiveness of homoeopathic remedies. According to their final conclusions, there is no reliable evidence that these methods could offer any real effect to patients. In most studies that claimed this, there was little meaningful difference in the placebo control group and the set that received the homoeopathic treatment.

With the uncertainty surrounding the effectiveness of alternative medications, having a reliable system on your end is all the more important. Dragon Medical Practice Edition 3 can offer your clinic an accurate voice transcription solution that can pick up on a range of medical terms from a number of established fields.  

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