Homeopath calling himself "Doctor"


Is he allowed to do this in SA?

I assume your question is whether, as a qualified homoeopath, Vlachos is allowed to call himself “Dr” in SA. The answer, annoyingly, is “yes” in the case of homoeopaths and chiropractors because their degrees/diplomas take about the same amount of time and effort to complete as a conventional medical qualification.

That miscarriage of parity aside, Amstel is a Dutch brand, not a South African one. This rather hints at the good “doctor’s” concern about plain facts.


It is interesting to note that “Dr” Crippen was a respected homeopath.

Ah, here in the UK, SA qualified homeopaths are not permitted to call themselves “Doctor” by the various homeopathic trade associations. Also, advertising regulation and consumer protection legislation places severe constraints on the use of the title “Doctor”. Having said that, here in the UK, we have a problem with homeopaths from the Indian sub-continent with DHMS/BHMS calling themselves “Doctor”. And also with other homeopaths with qualifications bought from degree mills.

Hi everyone
Did you guys know that the University of the Western Cape offers a degree in Natural Medicine. What do you think of that? See below…

The Following Professional Programmes are currently offered:

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture BCM CMA
Naturopathy BCM Nat
Phytotherapy BCM Phyt
Unani-Tibb BCM UTM
The Degree of Bachelor of Science in Complementary Medicine ie. BSc CHS is awarded after 3 years. Thereafter the School provides full-time training for Professional Practitioner Status leading to the award of a professional Two Year Bachelors Degree in Phytotherapy, Naturopathy ,Unani - Tibb Medicine and Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

After the 5year , 2 Bachelors degree, you register with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa to get the Dr title as well as registering with the Board of Health funders to claim from Medical aid schemes.

and WITS offers a degree in Traditional Medicine and you can call yourself a bona-fide Sangoma after a couple years (think its 5, too lazy to go google)

ag hell no.
i know two sangomas, a black dude, and a white english woman.
they both tell me, that first you get the ‘calling disease’, where eveything in your life goes to hell in a handbasket untill you go see your local sangoma, and they tell you, that the ancestors are basically calling you to be a sangoma, and they will continue to screw up your life, untill you go for the training.
the training consists of hectic drug taking, talking to the dead, spending time freesing your ass off, near death with hypothermia. spending lank time alone in the bushes. being an appy with another sangoma.
i cant imagine you sitting in an auditorium, learning how to patla. getting ghoefed and talking to the dead.
what bullshite.

I met quite a few sangoma’s when I was a missionary. It’s all just basic witchcraft, woo-woo sh*t with rattles and praying to ancestors (or appeasing their wrath). It’s all complete BS and only contributes to making genuine illnesses worse. The only “success” can be attributed to the placebo effect. They would be safer giving Christian faith healers the Dr title than making the sangoma’s legitimate medical practitioners.

Still makes me sick ;D

Homeopaths are mere conmen.

A few years ago, my health took a sudden dip. I saw several doctors, initially without success. Several people nagged at me to see a homeopath. This was before my skeptical, rational mind kicked into gear, so I eventually relented and saw the dude. He made me hold on to little bottles of water and “measured the resistance in my body”. His eventual diagnosis was that I was suffering from a fungus in my stomach. The “cure” tasted remarkably like water, costed hundreds a month and did f-all for me.

The actual diagnosis, eventually found by a real doctor a few months later was a large brain tumour (pituitary macro adenoma). Quite a stretch from a stomach fungus.

These people do deserve titles. I would suggest one of two: At best “Sharlatan Placebo Pushers”, or more realistically “Conmen”.

Has anyone seen James Randi’s Lecture at Princeton 2001, Homeopathy Explained.

It explains what actually is in homeopathic ‘medicine’.
You can find it on video.google.com or youtube.com
Worth the bandwidth.

It makes me sick to think that these people have the audacity to call themselves doctors.

Homoeopaths, Chiropractors, Phytotherapists (Medical Herbaliats), Naturopaths and Ostepoths in South Africa use the title ‘Doctor’ as a courtesy title. None of them qualify by means of a doctorate or PhD. They qualify to register with their statutory council via a masters degree.

[u]Definition[/u] [b]Courtesy Title[/b] [i]A title of no legal validity that is assumed or granted by custom, such as the academic title professor given to any instructor at a college.[/i]

The above modalities are only defined as ‘Practitioners’ under the Allied Health Professions Act. Nowhere is the title ‘doctor’ mentioned in the Act or supporting Regulations. There is no current legislation in South Africa that governs the use of the title ‘doctor’. The above have bestowed the title upon themselves without any law describing them as such.

However, since the much publicised bust on fake Nigerian doctors in recent weeks, the Dep. of Health are working on an amendment to the Health Professions Act to narrow down who may use the title ‘doctor’ in a medical sense.

Newspaper reports stated erroneously that they were arrested by the police for ‘impersonating doctors’, when in fact they were arrested for breach of the Health Professions Act for ‘Carrying out acts in the Scope of Practice of practitioners, while not being registered to do so.

This glaring hole in our legislation is the reason sangomas, inyangas, spiritual healers and just about any charlatan can call themselves 'doctor’s and can get away with it. As long as these individuals do not use the controlled professional titles (Homoeopath, Dentist or Medical Partitioner) and use the general term ‘doctor’ there is nothing that can be done. Also, if they stay clear of any of the acts described in any of the health profession’s Scopes of Practice, they are clear to do anything outside of that. This includes most of the pseudo-science modalities.

The general use of the term “doctor” in medical professions is ambiguous. Your general medical practitioner usually has a bachelor’s degree in medcine and surgery (MB ChB), your veterinarian a bachelor’s degree in veterinary sciency (BVSc) and your dentist a bachelor’s degree in dental science (BDSc). None of these conventional medical practitioners even have an honours or master’s degree, leave alone a doctorate, yet are called “doctor”. This does not diminish my objection to homoeopathy, but attacking homoeopaths on the grounds that they use the term “doctor” without the proper qualification may be a vulnerable approach.

Agreed, however Sangomas could claim the same because of long term use of the word without any sustainable objection from authorities.