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NHS Debate On Homeopathy Continues

Posted Dec 10 2009 3:37pm
  The NHS is the United Kingdom health care system that covers health care for most citizens in England.  The NHS total expenditure for their citizens is almost 100 billion pounds (98.7 pounds).  The NHS is paid primarily by general taxes include payroll and employee tax.  The NHS is facing major budget shortfalls over the next several years due to an aging population and severe worldwide recession.  The current shortfall will be approximately 15 billion for 2009.  

   Homeopathy has come into eyes of many when trying to cut costs in the NHS.  Homeopathy medicine has always enjoyed a prestigious place in England. Homeopathy is used by many English celebrities and the royal family.  Homeopathy care and treatments are covered by the NHS system. The total cost of homeopathy for the NHS is 10 million dollars.

  Critics point to Homeopathy as unproven treatment.  They also say that the science in homeopathy is physcially impossible.   There are really no large evidence based trials done in homeopathy.  Most homeopathy trials are too small to be used as evidence.  The few large trials have not been replicated over and over as required by evidence based medicine. There is really not too much research money given to homeopathy.  Many doctors are saying that all homeopathy funding should be cut with the current budget shortfall.  

  However, some ministers and doctors say that patients choice is really what is important.  They acknowledge that there is no strong scientific evidence to support homeopathy.  However, patient satisfaction with homeopathy with very high.  Most homeopathy patients in England have found the treatment to be effective for their conditions.  Doctors also point to the cost of homeopathy in the NHS is 10 million dollars. This cost is trival compared to the 15 billion dollar deficit. 

  What do you think is going to happen with homeopathy in the NHS?  Do you think it will be cut?  Should it part of the NHS at all?  

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