Consumers warned over complementary medicine


16-May-2009

This follows concern about some practitioners regarding malpractice, a lack of qualifications and the use of certain treatments such as acupressure and urine therapy.

In a press release yesterday, the National Consumers Forum (Natcof) said the growing popularity in Seychelles of alternative or complementary medicine can be seen as a positive development in the context of health for all.

Interest in traditional practices such as herbalism and other therapies such as aromatherapy, hypnotherapy and reflexology reflects awareness and a motivation to seek better health, Natcof added.

However, in some cases complementary healthcare service providers are operating outside the scope of their licence conditions, it said.

In a recent case, a private clinic at Beau Vallon was issued with a closure notice under the Public Health Act.

Consumers have also complained that some providers are offering urine therapy, which means patients drinking their own urine. This practice is not recommended by the health authority.

There have also been complaints about acupressure, an ancient healing method whereby fingers are used to press key points on the surface of the body to stimulate its natural self-curative abilities. This is being practised by certain providers without clinical experience or proper qualifications, Natcof said.

The consumers forum and the Complementary Health Board – which is responsible for complementary health regulation in Seychelles – are warning consumers about such practices.

Consumers are also reminded to make sure the complementary health clinic they are attending is regulated by the Complementary Health Board and to verify that it is licensed to practise the therapies it offers. 

And Natcof is asking consumers to ensure that proper sterilisation and management of needles are carried out by the service providers.

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