n South African Actuarial Journal - The fall of the bamboo curtain : a review of complementary medicine in South Africa

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1680-2179


This paper considers the increased interest in and usage of complementary medicine. The movement is being led worldwide, not by healthcare professionals or the funders of healthcare, but by consumers. In South Africa, a pilot study was undertaken in 1999 to identify existing sources of data and collate information as an initial baseline of the practice of and interest in complementary medicine. The paper summarises the findings of that study. The legal framework for the practice of complementary medicine in South Africa is described, the range of therapies is given and the number of practitioners is estimated. First indications of the use by consumers and the coverage by medical schemes are reported. An introduction to the status of African traditional medicine is given. Resources for the actuary wishing to gain more understanding of this consumer-driven movement are suggested.

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