A report that the National Health Service is spending – still – £55,000 a year on homeopathic treatments. You know the nonsense, that repeated succussion against horsehair cushions, and dilution to 0.00001% and the like, of something that causes symptoms like the disease being treated cures said disease. You know, Old Age tosh that has as much effect upon human health as the focal point of Mercury. Except worse, because people taking such hoo haw sometimes don’t submit themselves to medical treatment that actually works.
Everything we know about homeopathy being that there’s a placebo effect, as there always is, there’s a further effect that someone actually listens and seemingly cares, as is going to happen again, but with that bad effect of it displacing other treatments.
So, this is bad then:
NHS still spending £55,000 a year on homeopathy, despite ban
In the context of a near £150 billion a year budget do we actually care? Sending out a letter telling doctors to stop will cost more than this.
The NHS is still spending more than £55,000 per year on homeopathic remedies – despite doctors being told to stop prescribing them. Last night health officials said they would be asking the Government to “blacklist” such drugs, so that NHS funds could never again be spent on them. In 2017, NHS England issued guidance instructing doctors not to hand out prescriptions for homeopathic treatments, which chief executive Simon Stevens described as “at best a placebo” and “a misuse of scarce NHS funds”. But newly-released data shows doctors handed out nearly 3,300 prescriptions for “homeopathic preparations” last year, costing the NHS a total of £55,044.
It’s entirely possible to insist that actually this is a great use of funds. Better to give people £55,000 worth of chalk pills with nothing in them than to over-prescribe antibiotics. And some people do indeed even get, not just feel, better because they’re taking summat or other.
The thing is, the great claim of homeopathy is that the weaker the preparation the more effective it is. Thus we’ve only another £49,999,99 to slice off this budget and it will be working at maximum efficiency. For that really is homeopathy, the Robert Browning, Mies van der Rohe, of medicine, less is more.