Recently Marcus Fernandez, CHE Principal, and Kiran Grover, Head of Communications, met with David Tredinnick MP at the House of Commons. Over lunch they discussed David’s passion for homeopathy and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and his vision for homeopathy in the UK.
David explained that the government has put patients at the heart of the NHS, by consolidating health and social care. Many people are unaware that the government is beginning to roll out personal health budgets nationally, which enables patients who meet certain criteria to be able to have direct input into what kind of health and social care services they want, whether that is conventional or complementary. Whilst this is currently still limited to patients that qualify, it is an important development towards patient-centred health provision in the future.
Changing health landscape
He said that the landscape has changed in the UK. For example, since 2010 there are now around a million more pensioners, which has unsurprisingly led to an increase in demand on the NHS. Rather than looking to satisfy an ever-growing demand for health services, he felt that they needed to do more to reduce demand. He felt that this could be done by making people more aware of their health and empowering them to take more responsibility.
In his words, “Like many of your readers I have a homeopathic kit so I know that if I or a family member feels unwell we have an instant solution. We do not have to rush to the doctor’s surgery for a cough or cold. In the UK there is now an irresponsible use of A&E departments and this needs to stop. It worries me that many people in the UK are being prescribed many allopathic medications together, with unknown consequences. It also worries me that research now indicates that there is a link between many common over the counter hayfever and sleep medications and an increased risk of dementia. We need gentle and effective remedies, like homeopathy.”
Marcus suggested that the government should look at the Indian health care model, and integrated approach, where homeopathy is used alongside allopathy, Ayurveda and Yoga. This model is actively promoted by the Indian government, and there are 120 homeopathic medical schools and over 100 million users of homeopathy.
Empowering patients is key
Mr Tredinnick said “In the future the NHS is going to be driven by economics. Homeopathy is an inexpensive form of treatment that can benefit many and play its part in reducing demand for, and costs of, our hard pressed NHS. In addition to this, evidence shows that homeopathy is safe. There are many registered and regulated CAM practitioners out there who help their patients every day by empowering them to take responsibility of their own health.”
We are very pleased to know we have a supporter of homeopathy in parliament, and grateful to David for the time and support he has given homeopathy over the years.