Choosing a complementary medicine practitioner is an important decision and is essential to receiving the best possible advice and care.
Just as you wouldn’t go to a doctor who doesn’t have the necessary experience and qualifications, a complementary medicine practitioner should be held up to the same high standards.
Choosing a practitioner who is registered with one of the professional bodies of complementary medicine is recommended. Some of the larger professional bodies include the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society and the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association. You might want to start your search by calling and asking for a list of accredited practitioners or simply go to their website and search for a practitioner in your area.
Asking your doctor for a referral or friends for word-of-mouth recommendations are also ways to find a reputable practitioner.
Be aware that not all practitioners of complementary therapies are registered, which means they may not have undergone formal training and there is no assurance that they have the necessary skills to provide appropriate and safe care.
During your visit it is your right to ask about their training and qualifications. If you have any doubts about their experience or feel uncomfortable with any advice provided – such as abandoning your conventional medical treatment – it is best to find a new practitioner.
What does it cost?
There are no Medicare rebates for consultations with complementary medicine practitioners so full fees apply, and will vary according to the choice of treatment. It is good to be informed beforehand of the full cost of an appointment. Some practitioners are registered with private health funds, so people who are insured with these funds may be entitled to claim a small rebate.