The monopoly of ‘official’ medicine under threat?
At the turn of 80 – 90s of the last century with the national health system has a real competitor – released ‘underground’ alternative medicine. World healing opposed this system not only a wide range unusual for the Russians methods of healing – the ‘alternative medicine’ was based on very different socio-cultural, economic and organizational grounds.
On the one hand – the European rationalism, materialistic science, its reliance on technological advances rather narrow specialization, ‘safety’, involving careful control over any innovation, commitment laboratory, experimental phase of the work, conducting medical statistics, etc. With another – reliance on the esoteric teachings of the East or reclamation on the experience of folk medicine, an appeal to transcendent forces or unknown to the laws of the universalism of the healer, ready-to-use tools and healing techniques, the mechanism of their impact on the patient is unknown or at least obscure nor sick, nor him who applies them.
On the one hand standardized, comprehensive health education provided by public universities, postgraduate, diplomas, and degrees, courses of improvement of qualification. With another – the mysterious path of discipleship, datirovannaja knowledge and skills from healers to selected students (sometimes inherited), the absence of any universally recognised certificates confirming the qualifications of the healer.
On the one hand centralization, a complex system of state and municipal medical institutions of different profile and different levels, designed together to provide comprehensive free health service for all citizens of the country. On the other – absolute decentralization, it is not a regulated market, aggressive advertising and a wide – albeit usually spontaneous – using the principles of network marketing.
In recent years, the initial antagonism of conventional and alternative medicine seems to be losing sharpness, in fact – planned certain signs of ‘convergence’ which is achieved by the trend towards commercialisation of health care: doctors often learn healing techniques, until recently only used in ‘alternative medicine’; the latter are being employed in large medical institutions, and some schools of alternative medicine in fact achieve the status of ‘respectable’ medical ‘official’ (homeopathy, acupuncture, etc.); healers often prefer to use the diagnostic potential of traditional medicine and are often reluctant to start working with patients until until they pass the examination in ‘ordinary’ clinics, etc. However, competition between traditional and non-traditional medicine continues in the foreseeable future, presumably, will not stop even if you replaced the ‘cold war’ finally coming ‘peaceful coexistence’.
Despite all the claims of Russians to the national health system, our citizens, strongly give traditional medicine preference over non-traditional: 70% of respondents trust more the first, and only 9% – the second.
This overwhelming superiority of the authority of conventional medicine largely due, however, to the fact that the world of healing remains for three quarters of our fellow citizens of terra incognita: only 26% of respondents have ever had to deal with nonconventional medicine. And among them supporters of ‘conventional’ health superior to their opponents are not so convincing – the ratio is 2:1, and the share of difficult to answer increases markedly in comparison with the average for the sample.