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Complementary Medicine

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether any NHS patient wishing to choose (a) homeopathic treatment and (b) other forms of complementary medicine is able to receive it from an NHS homeopathic hospital; (254003)

(2) what assessment the Government have made of the potential for use of complementary and alternative medicines in place of conventional drugs on the NHS.

The Government consider that it is the responsibility of the national health service to make decisions on what treatments are most appropriate for their patients, including complementary and alternative medicine treatments and referrals to homoeopathic hospitals. In some cases complementary and alternative medicine treatments may be appropriate and a general practitioner would make a decision to refer taking into account safety, clinical and cost effectiveness as well as the availability of suitably qualified and regulated practitioners. The Government are currently giving careful consideration to the issue of cost but would consider the provision of such treatments would usually be complementary to, rather than provided in place of, conventional treatments.