A Dangerous Waste on the NHS
The Government's chief scientific adviser gave warning yesterday that people who use homeopathic medicines could be putting their lives at risk.
Sir David King said homeopathy was of no medical use whatsoever and that those who trusted it to cure serious health problems could be causing themselves more harm than good.
He also told MPs that the Department of Health was wrong to support the use of the alternative medicine and said there was no evidence that it worked.
Sir David's comments raised the issue of why the NHS continues to allow primary care trusts to fund homeopathy.
Of course the fact that the NHS funds five Homoeopathic Hospitals is a scandal. Homeopathy works for the well understood and scientific reason that people feel better after a caring chat with a trained listener and are given a sugar pill. If that is a cost effective treatment, and it probably is, then maybe we should provide it, but it is insulting and dangerous to dress it up in hocus-pocus which means that mean that real illnesses go untreated. I note that Jayne Thomas, the vice-chairman of the Society of Homeopaths, added: "If a patient was seriously ill, any genuine homeopathic practitioner would encourage them to visit a GP." Quite - it doesn't bloody work! If it did it wouldn't be called alternative medicine, it would just be called medicine.
Of course I have always understood the reason the NHS funds the quacks so lavishly is that The Royal Family are ardent believers in it and no one wants to upset them.