When assessing the state of America’s health care system, people speak of the costs, and the gap between a person’s salary and his or her ability to afford health care coverage. In truth, we what have is an everything gap: an alternative medicine gap, a mainstream medicine and medical practice gap, a medical research gap, and a pharmaceutical industry gap. What we need is better collaboration and research among all of the relevant practice and research specializations in the health care and alternative medical professions. This would allow for ongoing testing and research of alternative medical practices by mainstream scientific institutions, and possibly lead to a more effective and affordable health care model.
Today, it can cost a cancer patient approximately $2600 a month for an insurance policy on the open market. For some cancer patients the only way to afford the rising costs of health care is to follow the advice of their social workers, and move into a shelter to qualify for Medicaid.
We need changes in the way the medical industry conducts its business, and to encourage this change we will all have take an active approach and make our voices heard. As a start, patients could request that more alternative medical treatment options be made available along with, and in collaboration with, their doctors’ traditional practice methods; this would be a more productive and safer approach than having the patient seek out an alternative medical practice professional and receive treatment without input from their primary treating physician. Without collaboration, unsafe treatment practices could be responsible for driving up insurance costs by complicating a patient’s medical condition. On the other hand, use of well-tested alternative medical procedures would help reduce health care costs and likely benefit the patient’s well-being.
Health insurance providers also need to work together with alternative medical practice specialists and primary physicians, and not assume that all alternative medical practices are ineffective or not to be taken seriously. Medical research has not sufficiently tested many alternative practices, such as energy healing, although medical schools and institutions are now providing alternative medicine training, as noted by Deborah Mitchell of Emaxhealth:
“Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine/Center for Integrative Medicine, and the Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Columbia University are now offering course work in this area. More than 75 percent of medical schools in the United States include coursework in alternative medicine.”
Hopefully this trend will continue.
Continued in Part 2.