Homeopathy is more than a placebo and rightfully belongs in the NHS where patients can best benefit from doctors integrating it into care.
The British Homeopathic Associations said the recommendations of the Science and Technology report published today fail to acknowledge the fact that research evidence for homeopathy does exist, and dismisses patient outcomes as placebo effect.
The BHA added that the majority of patients presenting at the NHS homeopathic hospitals have serious and chronic conditions that have often not been helped through conventional methods. These patients are not – as the committee would like to purport – presenting minor complaints whose improvement is easily explained away by a placebo response.
It continued that the review by the committee was very narrow and cursory. The committee did not entertain evidence of effectiveness, which is actually what patients care most about. Even more troubling, the committee’s report makes recommendations to government in isolation of context and apparently without concern about its impact on patients and the NHS. If homeopathic patients are pushed to other more expensive services how will it help the NHS funding crisis? What about patients who have found nothing but homeopathy has helped them?
Homeopathy has been part of the NHS since its inception and has helped hundreds of thousands of people. In the NHS homeopathy is provided by doctors, which is the best and safest way to access care.
Chief Executive, Cristal Sumner, states: ‘It does seem an irresponsible way of decision-making for a Committee of four voting members to draw conclusions that impact the health and welfare of thousands of patients from just four and half hours of verbal testimony on three distinct topics and from a number of written submissions that were each limited to just 3000 words.’
As the Health Minister, Mike O’Brien, said, it would be illiberal to cut funding. We at the BHA know patients benefit from homeopathy, we hear their stories daily, and emphatically believe patients should retain their right to access homeopathy on the NHS.