Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good front-line surgery


There's a lot of talk about "cutting front line services" as the government tries to reduce the terrifying deficit.

This assumes that (a) the savings can't be made anywhere else but front line services and (b) all front line services give value.

Most people focus on (a). I'd like to focus on (b) and point out an example of front line services that are wasteful and potentially actually harmful.

In February this year, Parliament's Science and Technology Committee published a report which urged the government to withdraw funding and licensing of homeopathy.

Homeopathy is a front-line service. However, the parliamentary enquiry found that it had no better effect than placebos. Indeed, the British Medical Association has declared that homeopathy is witchcraft. Despite this the NHS funds four homeopthic hospitals and spend many millions on homeopathic treatment.

Here's a front-line service we should be happy to cut.

3 comments:

Slim said...

When were these hospitals founded/opened? (under whose administration?). Just wondering...

Dee said...

Hi Sean, I absolutely agree with you. In some countries eg. SA homeopaths also have the title Dr. My experience of them is that these doctors practice a type of psychological, tribal gobbley gook that bewitches their clients especially if they are smooth sales talking types.

Sean Haffey said...

Dee

Perhaps the best description I've come across: "these doctors practice a type of psychological, tribal gobbley gook that bewitches their clients"!

Thank you.