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70% of public against NHS-funded homeopathy

A consultation has indicated the Scottish public does not support the NHS funding homeopathy. NHS Lothian currently spends around £240,000 on the service each year.

The consultation was launched in September 2012 and had almost 4,000 respondents. Over 70% said that homeopathy should not be funded by the NHS. The health board has stated that no final decision has yet been made.

Between 1,300 and 1,800 homeopathy appointments are made each year and NHS Lothian runs clinics in Leith, Dalkeith and Livingston. 72% of respondents were against NHS-funded homeopathy, with 27% stating services should be continued and 1% were undecided.

Professor Alex McMahon, director of strategic planning, performance reporting and information, NHS Lothian said: “I would like to stress that no final decision has been taken regarding the outcome.

“The consultation survey results will also be discussed for consideration at future sub-committees of Midlothian Community Health Partnership, East Lothian Community Health Partnership, Edinburgh Community Health Partnership and West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership.”

Cristal Sumner, chief executive of the British Homeopathic Association, claimed the consultation had been “fundamentally flawed”.

She said: “Critically, NHS Lothian from the outset has failed to offer any alternative to the homeopathy service, if it is discontinued, as it is legally required to do when considering a major change in service provision.

“At a price of 22p per person in Lothian for treating often chronically ill patients, it will be difficult to find a cheaper alternative.”

But Keir Liddle, chair of the Edinburgh Skeptics society, said in the Edinburgh Evening News: “Homeopathy has been the subject of at least 12 scientific reviews, including meta-analytic studies, published since the mid-1980s...[And] the findings are remarkably consistent: homeopathic ‘remedies’ are not effective.

“It is ridiculous that any publicly-funded NHS board still funds homeopathy, particularly when NHS Scotland Health Quality strategy makes it abundantly clear that treatments offered should be effective; that patients should receive the most appropriate treatments; interventions, support and services will be provided at the right time to everyone who will benefit; and wasteful or harmful variation will be eradicated.”

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Dr. Nancy Malik   01/03/2013 at 11:29

Scientific plausible mechanism of action of 'potentised high dilutions' in homeopathy They are able to stimulate the biological activity and restore the homeostatic mechanism

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