April 19, 2016
Collaboration sought for rongoa interface
A Maori health researcher wants to find ways for rongoa Maori practitioners to work with conventional doctors.
Dr Glenis Mark says her study found many Maori use both traditional healers as well as their own GP, depending on how they perceive their problem.
But they often don’t tell their doctors they also use rongoa, for fear of ridicule or of being told to stop.
She says the patients want collaboration between their medical professionals.
"Healers and doctors should be seeing patients separately but they should collaborate on the same cases, not necessarily in the same room at the same time. That was patients' preference, The next step is talking about how that could happen for healers, doctors and patients because it could be quite tricky," Dr Mark says.
There are some South African-trained doctors collaborating with rongoa Maori practitioners, because their training included ways to work with traditional healers.
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