Australians supporting more natural healthcare

Despite the constant developments in modern medicine and medical research, Australians are now showing an increased interest in Mother Nature’s health remedies.

The Australian Trade Commission discloses that three out of four Australians take a daily natural dietary supplement, and around 25 per cent make regular visits to natural health practitioners. With an increasing number of medical practises offering integrated medicine, nurses and other healthcare professionals will need to expand the focus of their employment to include more alternative and natural health options.

Complementary medicine is on the rise.Complementary medicine is on the rise.

Economic growth imminent in Australia’s complementary health sector

Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) has submitted a 2015-16 budget that aims to grow complementary medicine to improve the country’s overall health, relieving some of the burden on the Government’s health budget. The company claims that the skyrocketing multi-billion dollar market is expected to affect Australia’s healthcare employment opportunities and high-skilled specialisations, as well as local manufacturing.

In addition, CMA’s chief executive officer Carl Gibson points out the rising opportunities for the export of Australian complimentary medicine, highlighting “a growing demand for Australian products, driven by the industry’s reputation for products that meet the highest standards of quality and safety.” The global success of Australian products may be a consequence of its rich animal and plant life and indigenous influences.

Despite the obvious economic benefits for the country, the Australian Government Department of Health notes that for the individual, natural therapies are not always fully subsidised by Medicare, but they are classified by some private health insurers under General Treatment cover. This means that Australians wishing to utilise natural remedies may need to pay attention to what they are entitled to under private and state cover.

More Australians are seeing the effectiveness of using alternative medicine as a proactive approach to improving their general health.

Benefits of natural health becoming apparent

Regardless, complementary medicine is experiencing growing popularity as more and more Australians see the effectiveness of using natural and alternative medicine as a proactive approach to improving their general health. Alternative treatments like acupuncture are becoming increasingly commonplace, where they might have previously been subjected to suspicion by Western patients.

The greater recognition of complementary medicine is exemplified by an announcement from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine for a clinical trial of a Chinese herb that is hypothesised to help improve the cognitive function of dementia sufferers. The trial marks an era of greater support and funding for complementary medicine research as the potential of the field is recognised.

It is an exciting development for those in medical employment, who will see an expansion of knowledge and expertise in their field to a previously under-acknowlegded area of medicine.