Homeopathy has mentioned in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions, the twice-weekly parliamentary event where the Rt Hon Theresa May MP answers specially selected questions from all parts of the House.
From the government’s back benches David Tredinnick MP, homeopathy’s stalwart advocate in parliament, first inquired of the Prime Minister if she was aware that according to the World Health Organisation homeopathy is the second largest medical system in the world. He then went on to ask if she would congratulate doctors who are members of the Faculty of Homeopathy on their work in the health service, particularly in dealing with cases that are too difficult to treat conventionally. In a three-pronged question he also sought her agreement that homeopathic vets should be able to make their own minds up about whether they use homeopathy in preference to conventional treatments.
The prime minister declined to answer any of Mr Tredinnick’s questions directly, preferring instead to repeat the familiar government line that it is the responsibility of local NHS commissioning groups to make decisions on the funding of healthcare treatments.
However, in stating that “those who are professionally able to make these judgements are left to make those judgements” she inadvertently (or knowingly) endorsed one of the BHA’s principal arguments in the debate about NHS homeopathy services. It is the doctors delivering homeopathy services who are best placed professionally to make judgements on the therapeutic benefits and cost-effectiveness of those services and they should be allowed to do so.