Medical Pluralism.docx - Medical Pluralism Studentu2019s...

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Medical PluralismStudent’s NameInstitution AffiliationDespite being very different countries, Africa and Australia share a phenomenon termedmedical pluralism. This form of health care is indeed pluralistic as it “consists of thetotality of medical subsystems that coexist in a cooperative or competitive relationshipwith one another” (Baer 2004, p. 109). Although medical pluralism is not recent by anymeans, it is still used differently in various cultures around the globe. This essay will firstdescribe the array of healthcare strategies that form different cultures’ pluralistic healthcare systems and how these cultures choose which path to take.As well, both the advantages and disadvantages to this approach will be exploredthrough select case studies. Finally, a glimpse of issues regarding the future of medicalpluralism in Australia will be looked at. According to both Baer (2004) and Quinlain(2011), anthropologists divide treatment options into three categories: the professionalsector, the popular sector, and the folk sector. The professional sector, or ratherbiomedicine or even western medicine, includes those that obtain formal training.This form of treatment was established in the 1900’s based on scientific reasoning with an emphasis on pathogens.Even though biomedicine has become more dominant over the other categories inindustrialized societies with large bureaucracies and legal systems (Quinlain 2011, p.394), popular medicine, or natural medicine has been around for the past 10,000 years(Schwager 2012). Approximately 70-90% of health care takes place in popularmedicine, making it the most commonly used (Quinlain 2011, p. 394). This broad rangeof treatment can take on the form of special diets, over the counter drugs, herbs andother home remedies.

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