Nowadays a Growing Number of People With Health Problems

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

Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 17 Test 4 Writing Task 2.

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Sample Essay

More and more people with health issues are now choosing alternative medicines and therapies over conventional treatment recommended by their practitioners. I believe this is a negative development because many alternatives are not held to the same standards as mainstream treatments and are often less useful in emergencies.

Many alternatives are not strictly regulated. In most countries, alternative medicines are not classified as drugs and are, therefore, not subject to the same regulations in terms of efficacy and safety, or in the way that they are marketed. This can be seen in herbal remedies which falsely claim to have special ingredients that affect effectiveness, when there is no evidence of this. The same can be said for alternative therapies. Many of these therapies are not conducted by registered practitioners who are permitted to work by a regulatory board. As a result, there is nothing to stop unethical or, even, unsafe practice from taking place.

In addition, non-conventional medical treatments would not be as useful in emergency situations. They take time to work, whereas conventional treatments are developed to take effect fast. If people with conditions or symptoms that need to be relieved right away opt for alternative therapies, they might miss the window of opportunity to cure their diseases. Consider patients who require tumor removal as soon as possible. If they delay surgery in the hopes that a non-mainstream treatment would work, the tumor might grow and spread to other parts of their bodies.

In conclusion, the increased use of alternative medicines and therapies should be viewed as a negative development due to a lack of regulation and their ineffectiveness in emergency situations. (274 Words)

How to Vary Your Language

Alternative Medicines And Treatments
  • Non-conventional medical treatments
  • Non-mainstream medical treatments
  • Complementary medical treatments: Both alternative treatments and complementary treatments refer to treatments like herbs or acupuncture that are out of the medical mainstream. But complementary medicine is when these therapies are used along with traditional Western medicine. Alternative medicine is when these approaches are used instead of traditional medicine.
Visiting Their Usual Doctor
  • Conventional medical treatments
  • Mainstream medical treatments
  • Traditional medical treatments: “Traditional” is not the best choice to describe mainstream or conventional medicine because “traditional” is sometimes used to describe older practices that predate modern medicine.

Take Response

Please note that the question mentions both alternative medicines and alternative treatments, not just alternative treatments. The reason that medicines are mentioned separately is to make it clear that the question is not only about alternative treatments which don’t involve medicine as such, such as acupuncture and aromatherapy, but it is also about alternative medicines such as homeopathic and herbal remedies. So be sure to talk about alternative treatments as well as alternative medicines in your essay.

5 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Thank you so much for your response… I understood what you are telling but when it comes to essays like this
    ” government should spend on public services rather than on arts. Whats your opinion?”
    Such essays put me into a great confusion that how to write on one side. I mean i feel like if I choose public services, then art side get overlooked.
    Could you help please?

      1. Got it. I can’t thank you enough lilie, you are such a benevolent person, and your essays are easy to follow. I would definitely recommend your website to my friends. Have a great day and future as well. ☺️👍

  2. Hey lilie, you are doing a great job…
    Have a query, would you please tell me just for the last time in to what extent do you agree disagree essay if i write about only one side without acknowledging other, which many mentors emphasis to do, could i still get atleast 6.
    Its my exam next week and i am too confused with structure of such essay…
    Requesting you to help me in this regard.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi, thanks for your question. I got an agree-or-disagree question on one of the actual exams. I chose to completely agree and got a 7. But please keep in mind that sticking to only one side doesn’t equal writing about just one item. For example, in this blog post, even though I think using alternative medicines and treatments is a negative development, I didn’t ignore conventional medical treatment, which is also mentioned in the question.

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