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Should homeopathy be available on the NHS?

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Should homeopathy be available on the NHS? The term homeopathy can be separated to the Greek words homeo and pathy to mean "similar suffering". Whether it has been proven or not is a very controversial matter as there are many different views surrounding the topic. The medicine treats the internal body using a very dilute solution so the body can inevitably heal itself. It distinguishes the illness and treats the patient as a whole, not only the disease the patient has. This principle is based on the findings of German doctor in the late 1700s, Samuel Hahnemann who discovered there were two ways of healing, the way of similars (directly healing the disease) or working by opposites. He worked by using a technique called potentisation, applying to the diluting and succession of the remedy, which is now employed for homeopathic remedies. It is now said that this treatment, not only causes fewer side effects but also has better results. It is based upon natural resources and treats the patient based on the prescription of "like with like" which compliments the procedure of working by similars. The patient is given a very small amount of the dose in an extremely dilute solution. It's defined as a "patient centred" use of medicine and is prescribed supported on the entirety of the patients symptoms and how one experiences them. Scientifically and biologically, it cannot be explained, yet it is still used and has been used widely for 200 years. This makes it understandably controversial as it is assumed to be unproved but yet is used. In this issue report, I will try and establish what and how homeopathy works using evidence from data and graphs and conclusively share my views and opinions on the topic. Scientists have a lot of problems with homeopathy and whether it should be available on the NHS considering it's based on a "placebo" effect. ...read more.


On the other hand, there are some opposing connotations to these types of trials. For example, the treatment isn't only based on the symptoms of the patient. It is also based around the patient's choice of lifestyle, emotional health, and dietary habits. This means the homeopathic remedy must be customized to suit the patient and if so, RCTs would not be appropriate. Furthermore, exposing patients in an intervention can be often thought unethical. On the other hand, if the patient is not concerned and thinks it's in fact ethical, then it remains an appropriate method. One implication of homeopathy is the fact that the government is very indifferent. If the government is unresponsive to the medicine, the advertising of it won't develop making the medicine publicized and advertised to the minimum. On February 20th 2010, a report was issued on the UK Government's funding on homeopathy. They concluded in saying that "the government should stop allowing the funding of homeopathy on the NHS; the funding of homeopathy hospitals should not continue; and NHS doctors should not refer patients to homeopaths" basically cutting off homeopathy completely, only allowing the availability of homeopathy to those who have a profession in it, excluding chemists. This creates an implication as full advertisement and selling of the medicine will be eradicated. Without promoting the drugs, people will surely forget about this "alternative" medicine and forcefully stop using it. According to MPs "homeopathy is a waste of money". If this message is being publicized, then it will indoctrinate many people to believe that is in fact a waste of money, and homeopathy will vanish. I believe this to be an economical implication. This is because full funding will be derived from all homeopathy projects. If there is no money going towards homeopathy, then the medicine will not be made for the public, also having an implication socially. Another implication is that there isn't a significant amount of evidence that homeopathy truly works. ...read more.


Before in my issue report, I discussed the implications encountered within the context of the issue. The first implication I looked at was based highly on an economical implication. I discussed how the government was very indifferent and used the report on the funding of it as a source. I discussed how this could lead to people not buying alternative medicine, the eradication of advertisement, and disallowing the availability of the "over-the-counter" drug. Homeopathy is fairly popular in the U.K and I believe that the disallowing of homeopathy can be avoided if the government were to recognise how effective the remedies are. Some general medical practitioners prescribe the remedies and refer their patients for treatment at homeopathic clinics under arrangements made by the NHS, which is funded by the government. It is clear that homeopathy is an option for many practitioners. The government would also have to shut down all four homeopathic hospitals in the UK in order to eradicate the prescriptions given to patients, which will cost a lot of money. This can be avoided if people in the area were to protest, sign a petition or appeal against the abolition of such places. Although I suggested that many people would stop buying the medicine because of what important figures in politics have said, people will also be heavily influenced by positive feedback. Many people will opt for homeopathy because it is also cheaper. If prices were kept at a minimum, it would encourage more people to buy homeopathic remedies. This also shows that there is no ulterior motive in manufacturing and selling. Companies like the NHS do not want to make a profit, as it is a free service. I believe that many people will not stop buying the medicine if available. I believe this because surveys from the report on UK's funding of homeopathy stated that surveys have revealed a 70% satisfaction rate amid patients who attend homeopathic hospitals. There is a clear popularity with homeopathy and the government will recognise this if the population approach the matter in a correct way. ...read more.

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