At its website http://www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk/Pages/default.aspx NHS Lanarkshire is asking for the public’s views on the following question:
Should NHS Lanarkshire refer patients to the Centre for Integrative Care (Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital)?
The answer seems to me to be a no brainer.
- There is ample empirical evidence across the UK over the last 200 years, and across the globe, that many common ailments, and even epidemic diseases, can been cured or alleviated by homeopathic remedies. The results are often rapid for both acute issues eg colds, headaches, muscle/tendon injuries, cystitis pains, and chronic eg organ problems.
- The cost of making up the remedies is small versus the cost of pharmaceutical drugs which has escalated rapidly in recent years and the NHS is struggling to handle this development.
- Unlike with conventional drugs, there are no side effects (some even life threatening) as that term is understood in the pharmaceutical industry which has to ‘manage’ major problems in this regard. So, the trained homeopathic doctor’s or therapist’s prescribing approach is enormously eased in this respect, and the likelihood of successful litigation (with its attendant costs in physicians’ time wasted, lawyers’ fees etc) virtually eliminated. Additionally, the growing problem of patients being given expensive drugs, but not taking them when at home because of fear of the side effects which many don't wish to protest about to their doctor (perhaps because he/she can't offer an alternative), would be significantly reduced.
- A corollary is that where homeopathics rather than pharmaceutical drugs are being prescribed the prescribing individual or organisation’s insurance costs are reduced to a miniscule amount.
- Encouraging the homeopathic approach as a 'first' response rather than drugs/chemical suppressants can lead many patients in due course to a more responsible and fairly inexpensive, ‘at home’ self-medication approach for obviously trivial acutes, which over time would save doctor and nurses' time and the NHS money.
- Because homeopathic remedies are essentially SAFE, storing them at home presents no real dangers to the rest of the family eg need to take elaborate precautions to keep them out of reach of children.
- Disposing of unused homeopathic remedies raises no landfill contamination issues.
- Finally, the public's right to choose between the natural healthcare route which includes homeopathic remedies, where locally available, or orthodox chemical drugs (which sadly currently have a virtual monopoly over much of the UK), is something in the original NHS vision which is an important principle to be cherished and preserved - an inexact analogy would be the right to go organic as opposed to the GMO route. We generally have an instinct for what is best for our own bodies.