Educate the public on benefits, dangers of alternative medicine

I am perturbed to read that a woman seeking alternative treatment for infertility was sexually violated (" 'Healer' jailed for sexual assault during 'treatments' "; Nov 13).

Although alternative treatment is not recognised by mainstream medicine, there are many people who are still lured by the benefits and promises touted by alternative "healers".

Some of the far-fetched claims include the curing of cancers, chronic diseases, sexual malfunctions and even infertility.

While I am sympathetic of patients who opt for alternative treatment as a last resort after mainstream medicine failed to cure their ailments, I am deeply concerned about those who choose alternative treatment over mainstream treatment out of "blind faith".

Just imagine the fatal consequences if a cancer patient opts to undergo alternative treatment instead of chemotherapy.

As "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing", I hope the Ministry of Health can look into providing more information to educate the public about the benefits and dangers of complementary and alternative medicine.

This will certainly enable people to make more informed decisions on whether they should choose alternative treatment over mainstream medicine (or vice versa) without falling prey to bogus healers.

Dave Phua Peng Hwee

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