To the Editor: Complementary medicines may lack evidence of safety and efficacy, but conventional medicine lacks evidence of efficacy in 30%–40% of cases,1 and the breast implant and hip replacement debates demonstrate safety concerns. The debates about conventional versus complementary medicine expose how out of touch the medical profession is with the views of government and the people about complementary medicine. The medical profession was once central to health care and an opinion leader. Now it forms a small proportion of all health professionals registered under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), while complementary therapists provide half of health consultations2 and the public spends almost three times as much on complementary medicine ($3.5 billion)3 as it spends on prescribed medicines directly ($1.3 billion).4 Our profession’s influence on health policy has been compared with “an ineffective chorus muttering on the edge of the stage about keeping things the way they were”.5
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.