Complementary and Alternative Medicines

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:28 pm on 14th October 2009.

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Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health 7:28 pm, 14th October 2009

I think we could all do with a bit of that this week. I thank the hon. Gentleman for his offer.

As I said earlier, and as the hon. Gentleman knows, the Government do not take a position on specific complementary and alternative medicines. That is left to GPs and local health centres. I think that that is right, but I also think it right for us to provide the information to which I have referred. Let me recap briefly: we provide information on safety, clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and the availability of suitably qualified or regulated practitioners, and I think that that puts us in about the right place.

As I was saying, the hon. Gentleman is a great ambassador and is very knowledgeable about this subject.

Annotations

Donald Hardie
Posted on 15 Oct 2009 3:01 pm (Report this annotation)

Rather than offer polite praise, it could have been more productive for the minister to hint more strongly that David Tredinnick needs to consider the scientific arguments more deeply. Contempt for science is a problem in this country. This is not helped by ministers treating unscientific views as if they were as valid as scientific views.

John Hully
Posted on 31 Oct 2009 10:58 am (Report this annotation)

Refer The Lancet - Benefits and Risks of Homeopathy, in particular the citations 1 - 5 for a scientific assessment of homeopathy
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673...

The Minister should have been able to rebut perfunctorily the statements about the "effects" of the lunar cycle from widely known medical practice.

It is perhaps curious that no member pointed out the irony of a member of a party recommending the use of taxpayers money for "complementary" treatments when that party is advocating reduction of waste in the public finances.