May 23rd, 2006

Alternative medicine – you’re on your own

Should the NHS fund complementary medicine? Some top medics say ‘no’. Scientists are often too quick to dismiss treatments that work outside their own paradigm – and we need to stay open-minded about this stuff. But the question is, as always with the NHS, should someone else pay? The NHS is based on an implicit ‘contract’ between net beneficiaries (typically the old, sick and poor) and those that are net payers (young, healthy and rich). Those paying in are entitled to expect that NHS treatments have been shown to effective and cost-effective, and that they are not funding New Age fads. The NHS already has NIHCE to tell it what interventions are good value for money. I suspect that we will find that there are valuable therapeutic benefits from some of these treatments – but unless there is evidence, people wanting unproven alternative treatments should expect to go it alone.

1 comment to Alternative medicine – you’re on your own

  • Persephone

    Loving your blog, Clive! So refreshing to have the Bates ranting in my living room of a morning, giving my brain & critical faculties a prod. I have been caring for baby Felix for almost a whole year and it is time to get back to work. Delighted that you are as fiery as ever. Persephone

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