Complementary Medicine in Australia and New Zealand.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Finney, Dominique
Pub Date: 03/22/2010
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Spring, 2010 Source Volume: 22 Source Issue: 1
Topic: NamedWork: Complementary Medicine in Australia and New Zealand (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Baer, Hans A.
Accession Number: 223824002
Full Text: An essential foundation text for any Australian or New Zealand course in complementary medicine

By Hans A Baer

Verdant House 2009

Meleny 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, Victoria.

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 popularisation, 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, 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 is 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 come 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 is an issue 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.

Available for loan from the NHAA library.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.