Complementary Medicine in Australia and New Zealand
An essential foundation text for any Australian or New Zealand course in Complementary medicine
Hans.A. Baer Verdant House Maleny Australia ISBN 978-0-9757422-7-3
Dr Hans Baer has written 16 books and he is the Senior lecturer in School of Philosophy, Anthropology, and Social Inquiry for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne.
Baer is a passionate writer who in this book has brought together clearly the factors that emerged to create our current Health care system. The book is written in an easy to digest and interesting academic style. Baer clearly paints an understanding of our unique medical historical popularization, legitimation and dilemmas.
Understanding our history is critical for any student studying Health Sciences. The book begins with a description of Alternative medicine before 1970, the personalities, associations, systems and view points that shaped Naturopathy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, Chiropractic and Osteopathy and other holistic practices. Baer describes the education offered, the funding available and the key factors that lead us to the rise in biomedicine as the dominant model in Australia and New Zealand.
Reading through the text I can see that it’s essential for students to know the information Baer presents. His detail is thorough taking the background and development of Complementary medical associations and their perspectives and reasoning for Statutory recognition and registration. The reader gains an understanding of why we sit on the edge of statutory recognition and details the biomedical dominance over policy and, funding. The registration of Osteopathy, and Chiropractic therapies which are approved have their benefits and draw backs as they are biomedically controlled. Do we want to become under the umbrella of biomedical dominance? The models of Statutory recognition are important for Complementary practitioners to understand so that another more equal and suitable model can be presented for policy taking the benefits of examples already set by these professions. The registration of Herbalism and Naturopathy are issues on the table now and Baer gives readers a complete picture of how these issues came about and offers understanding so that Complementary Practices can move forward politically.
Details of mainstreaming Complementary medicines and government interest are described in detail giving us once again a clear historical perspective and a modern overview of the current situation and future direction potentials. Overall this is an essential text for any student and practitioner of Complementary Therapies. It is the first book I have seen that outlines the total picture so clearly and written in an easy to read academic style.
Review by Dominique Finney