Public Interest in CAM
Recent surveys show that CAM treatment methods are used extensively around the world and are only increasing in popularity. Different countries value and use CAM therapies for various reasons. These reasons can be summarized as follows: (159)
1) In many countries where conventional medicine is not available, traditional medicine is the primary source of care as it is locally available and financially attainable. For example, the ratio of traditional healers to the population in Africa is 1:500, while the ratio of medical doctors to the population is 1:40,000. Similarly, in India, according to a government survey, traditional non-medical treatments are the only source of health care for 65% of the population (160).
2) In other countries, often developed Asian countries, traditional non-medical treatments are culturally and historically strongly rooted and are commonly used by most of the population, despite having access to conventional healthcare. For example, 76% of Singapore's population uses traditional medicine, and in the Republic of Korea, the number is even higher – 86% (161). In China, traditional medicine accounts for about 40% of all provided health care (162).
3) In developed countries, such as Australia or North American and European countries, conventional healthcare is highly advanced. The past 20 years has seen an increase in the use of CAM as a supplement to standard care. According to studies published between 1998 and 2001, the number of citizens in developed countries who had used a CAM method at least once is as follows: Canada 70%, Australia 48%, USA 42% (an increase from 34% in 1990 to 42% in 1997 (163) ), France 49%, Belgium 31%. In Germany, this number even increased to two thirds of the population (164), according to data from 2002. Finally, 44% of the population in Great Britain has taken advantage of a CAM method (according to a 2010 survey) (165).