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New Zealand's largest osteopathic clinic opens

New Zealand's largest osteopathic clinic opens

With people increasingly seeking alternatives to medication and surgery, the opening of New Zealand's largest osteopathic clinic comes at the right time.

Minister of Health Annette King officially opens the clinic at UNITEC's Mount Albert campus on Thursday.

With 11 treatment rooms, the UNITEC clinic also serves as a teaching facility for post-graduate osteopathy students.

Osteopathy takes a holistic appraoch to healthcare and head of the institute's osteopathy programme, Associate Professor Clive Standen, says the clinic has already been doing good business. "Although the official opening is this week, the facility was fully-equipped at the start of this year and we have been treating patients for some time."

Until the establishment of the country's only Master of Osteopathy programme at UNITEC two years ago, the only way to become a fully-qualified osteopath was to study overseas.

Professor Standen says awareness of the discipline and demand for treatment has skyrocketed since then. "Our Masters programme is very popular, with 39 students in the two classes, and local osteopaths often refer patients to us when they have more patients than they can handle."

He says the benefits of non-traditional medicine have become more accepted by both the public and other medical professionals. A number of the clinic's patients are sent there by family doctors. "GPs are positive towards osteopathy. They appreciate that fact that we can help patients with certain chronic problems for which they have no cure."

ACC doesn't always cover chronic problems and cost is also a factor for many patients, he says. Because the clinic is a teaching facility, its prices can be kept low. "Osteopathy is particularly good for older people who need ongoing care. Our elderly patients appreciate the time and attention that we give to diagnosis and treatment."

What: Official opening of the UNITEC Osteopathic Clinic Where: Gate 3, UNITEC Institute of Technology, Carrington Road, Mount Albert When: 12pm, Thursday 8 May --

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