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Comparative Healthcare: Dermatology

Author(s): Drs Gilbert Shia | Xiao Qin Lu | Wei Wang | Dr. Christine Boyce

Journal: Australasian Medical Journal
ISSN 1836-1935

Volume: 1;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 70;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: .

The skin is the largest organ of the body anddermatological problems are among the more commonailments to aflict mankind. The care of patients with skincompalints are an excellent backdrop in which to comparemedicine as practiced in China with what is available toAustralias. The approach to most conditions is very similarwhether you live in Beijing or Hobart. However there arealso marked differences, in China acupuncture, herbalmedicine and therapeutic massage are integral parts ofeveryday medical practice, and are promoted by thegovernment. Dermatology is an area where a traditionalherbalist would attract as many patients as an orthodoxdermatologist. For me there are some marked differencesin the way care is organised as is demonstrated in themanagement of the patient with chronic leg ulcers. Theauthors state that such patients are more likely to bereferred to a dermatologist in China because generalpractice has yet to establish itself fully as a specialty. Onthe other hand in Australia such patients are much morelikely to be managed almost exclusively in primary carewith the support of the community nursing services.Indeed as the Australian author states the wait for aroutine appointment with a dermatologist may be severalmonths. It is also intriguing to read about Formula A101an herbal lotion being promoted in China as a treatmentfor a variety of dermatological and other ailments. As withprevious articles in this series the views expressed arethose of the authors and do not necessarily represent theviews of the AMJ or any other official body.
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