Homeopathy and the NHS

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:58 am on 29th March 2017.

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Photo of David Tredinnick David Tredinnick Conservative, Bosworth 10:58 am, 29th March 2017

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered homeopathy and the NHS.

Mr Hanson, it is always a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, particularly when before we have even started the match, you have given us extra time. It is not often that we are able to start a debate earlier than expected.

This debate has come about for two reasons. The first is the attacks on the long-established national health service homeopathic service. Secondly, we are approaching a very happy moment, Homeopathy Awareness Week, when the homeopathic community comes together to tell people about what it can offer in providing support to doctors and alternatives where other treatments have not worked.

Homeopathy Awareness Week takes place from 10 to 16 April in a celebration of homeopathy: a safe, gentle, natural system of medicine that I have used for 30 years to great effect. In the UK, it might surprise people to hear that 15% of our population already use homeopathy and a further 80% have heard about it. Many people are not sure what makes it different from other medical systems. The week aims to get people to have a better understanding. A lot of events have been organised, including the film première of “Just One Drop”.

To put things in a global perspective, some 450 million people use homeopathy each year. If homeopathy did not work, why would so many people choose to use it and carry on using it? It is a global medical system, the second largest medical system in the world, and is used particularly in very poor communities, which I will come on to.

On British practitioners, a survey recently showed that 72% of homeopathic patients rated their practitioners either very good or excellent. The 4Homeopathy group recent study showed that practitioners are treating all kinds of things, from irritable bowel syndrome—30%—to depression—20%. More than three quarters of teenagers and 41% of adults receive homeopathic treatments for skin disorders. About a third of adults and 40% of teenagers go to homeopaths for anxiety and stress. It is a service that delivers both in and out.