Professor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Henry Fraser is defending his stance on alternative medicine after warning about the practice on the weekend.
Professor Fraser tells Barbados TODAY that medicine should be based on “solid scientific construct” in contrast to practices such as homeopathy.
“There’s a great deal of stuff out there, which goes under the euphemistic title of alternative medicine. It’s really not based on any evidence, almost always,” he said, explaining that Western medicine had been proven to work, having gone through rigorous trials, and thorough investigation and documentation.
On Saturday, Professor Fraser raised alarm about the increasing number of alternative medicine practitioners in the country, as well as the emergence of more medical schools.
He indicated that the UWI and professionally trained practitioners were under threat as a result.
“Our great University of the West Indies, the standards we set and the training most of us here have received, are under constant daily threat by a new society, which is constantly seduced by glamorous claims of many forms of alternative practices and by the claims of business-oriented medical schools whose raison d’etre or reason for existing is business first, and medicine is merely the business of their business,” he said at the start of the 75th Continuing Medical Education (CME) Conference organized by the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners and UWI.
“Only by practising to the highest standards of medical knowledge, skill, ethics and care for our patients will we achieve the best results and genuine life satisfaction.”
The professor also expressed grave concerns about the poor showing of medical practitioners at the two-day conference held at the Lloyd Erskine
And with mandatory requirements for continuing education for doctors being introduced in Barbados several years ago, he questioned their absence from the event.
“If only 170 doctors of almost 500 doctors in Barbados attended the CME conference, one has to wonder what is happening. Are many doctors planning to retire next year because they haven’t fulfilled the requirements or are they spending thousands of dollars going overseas to family medicine or other speciality conferences in North America and Europe?”
He noted that the content of the conference, conducted twice a year, was tailored to suit the Caribbean situation, and took into account issues such as diseases that were common in the region.
“It’s a hugely important conference. Everything that is done here is done largely as a result of requests from the keenest doctors.” he said further.