BAGUIO CITY – A medical doctor who practices both modern and alternative or traditional medicine said many patients are now appreciating both practices in handling their health needs.
Dr. Joseph Alunes, a family and community medicine practitioner at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), in a press conference here Thursday, shared that a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) some 20 years ago showed that only 20 percent of the population go for alternative medicine.
“The latest study of the WHO in 2022 shows that 88 percent of the population opt to receive traditional medicine in treating their illness,” he said.
Alunes said he supplements modern medicine with acupuncture, the most common traditional medicine that his patients prefer.
He said there are also herbal medicine practitioners, “hilot” or those using the traditional Filipino art of healing through massage, and even moxibustion, a form of therapy that utilizes the burning of mugwort leaves.
“The DOH is giving licenses to practitioners,” he said.
Alunes, however, said more researches are needed to have additional basis on the use of traditional medicine in science and allow it to be fully accepted.
He is hopeful that a department of traditional medicine will be established at the BGHMC, noting that the conduct of the summit on traditional health care here has opened up several avenues where practitioners were able to bring out products of research like wine with therapeutic characteristics, healing oils, and others.
He also expressed confidence that with the existence of a law providing for the training of practitioners of traditional medicine, more medical practitioners will also be enticed to practice this.
“There are now 10 herbal medicines which are DOH-Food and Drugs Administration recognized,” he added. (PNA)