13 Jul 2006

Cooks ponders combining traditional and conventional medicine

2:00 pm on 13 July 2006

The hospital in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands has cautiously welcomed a partnership between traditional and conventional medicine.

This comes as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Dr Terepai Maoate, called for a constructive partnership between the two approaches to health care.

The clinical director of the hospital, Dr Henry Tikaka, says while he is not opposed to a partnership, the issue needs more discussion.

"I wouldn't say that there is not a place for a healer in the hospital. I think there is a place for it, but to what extent and how far we would go on with this, I am not sure. After all, I mean this is an issue that has to be settled by discussions."

Dr Henry Tikaka.

Dr Maoate says he does not mind if his patients use traditional medicines, as long as they adhere

to their biomedical prescriptions.