May 23, 2006

Alternatives in the NHS

A GROUP of Britain’s leading doctors has urged every NHS trust to stop paying for alternative medicine and to use the money for conventional treatments.
depending on your level of cynicism there are several reason as to why the NHS would pay for them in the first place.

level 1: Naivety
They really do beleive that there is something too alternative therapy. It's like in tune with nature, bring out the crystals and hug a tree man.

level 2: Publicity
Well all that touchy feely stuff gives us a good photo op, and the patients seem to like it (until they stop coming for appointments for some reason).

level 3: Stinginess
Tap water costs less than actual medicine, and the NHS is underfunded so this is a great way to cut costs so we can pay for more managers.

level 4: Malevolence
So some of them die off, well that will shorten the waiting lists. Can't have all those sick people cluttering up a nice new hospital can we?

To give New Labour it's due it (and the Prince of Wales) are probably at level 1: Naivety. For example Cherie (despite being a highly paid Barrister and probably smarter than her husband) is known to consult her new age guru. If this was an insurance based system and people where choosing to pay for these treatments themselves directly out of their own money then it would be fine. But with the NHS structured as it is providing alternative treatments means that it does not have as many resources to provide treatments that actually work. And remember that is the deinition of alternative therapy, a treatment that is not known to work. When something is proven scientifically to work it stops being alternative medicine and becomes simply medicine.


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