Doctors role is to listen to complaints of the patient and here half work is done. Unfortunately modern medicine ignores this and also patients don't expect this from modern medicine, they expect injections and tablets and miracle cure. When this is not offered,they turn to alternative therapies. When expectations are low, rewards are likely to be high. In India,there is a plethora of alternative practitioners. Ayurveda, an ancient medical science, provides herbal and other types of therapies for various ailments including cancer. All these have good state support under a separate dedicated ministry.
Challenge is to integrate these practitioners with modern medicine so that both can work hand in hand.
HIFA profile: Narendra Javadekar is a physician and health economist with RESPIRE in India and has a professional interest in internal medicine, health economics, and public health.
Email address: narenjavdekar AT yahoo.co.in