IELTS Cambridge Book 17 Test 4 – Task 2

Question –

Nowadays, a growing number of people with health problems are trying alternative medicines and therapies instead of visiting their usual doctor.

Is it a positive or negative development?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

Answer – 

The number of people who are shifting to alternative medicines and therapies rather than opting for conventional treatment to treat their health problems is increasing these days. I strongly believe that it is a negative development because these unconventional practices are not regulated by governments and they do not often work in emergencies.

The main reason why I consider opting for alternative remedies as negative is because there is a lack of strict guidelines for them. This is because they are not subjected to the same kind of strict guidelines and regulations that conventional medicine or practices have to follow, and especially in Western countries, these medicines are not approved or even acknowledged by the governments. Their claims have no scientific evidence to back them up, and they mostly work on ancient practices or anecdotal evidence, therefore, their effectiveness and safety are not guaranteed. In the USA, for example, there is a rapid rise in the number of chiropractors, but they are not government-certified, and some people visit them to readjust their spine and neck, even though there is no evidence of this practice’s efficacy and safety.

Another reason to consider is that non-conventional medical treatments are usually not useful during emergencies. In other words, these medicines and treatments take time before showing their effects, but if there is an emergency and a person needs quick relief from pain, these medicines or treatments may not work immediately, and the condition of that person may worsen. However, allopathic medicine is known to give patients almost instant relief from pain, which can be the difference between life and death. For instance, if a person is suffering from cancer or heart problems and requires immediate surgery, but they are adamant about using homoeopathy and ayurvedic medicines, they may have to pay a hefty price for this as their health may deteriorate or they can even lose their life.

In conclusion, I strongly affirm that the increasing tendency to opt for alternative medicines and treatments should be viewed as an unwelcome development because of a lack of governance on their manufacturing and their ineffectiveness during emergencies.