Campaign for free alternative therapies on the NHS
A councillor from Swindon is campaigning for more alternative therapies such as homeopathy, acupuncture and massage, to be made available on the NHS.
Wroughton councillor Wayne Crabbe, chiropractor Jan Blankenstein and osteopath Pauline Mather have rallied together to promote the case.
Coun Crabbe claims it is a rejection of core NHS principals to reserve alternative therapy solely for those who can afford it. If the NHS stands for free healthcare for every individual then it should offer people the choice between prescription drugs and alternative therapy.
A number of alternative therapies are currently provided by the NHS in certain areas. Homeopathy, for instance, is offered in Bristol, Liverpool, Nottingham and London but in Swindon it remains a privately-funded treatment – something that Coun Crabbe is fighting to change.
The argument has been put forward in a report to Swindon Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee. It includes evidence of how, in some cases, alternative therapy can be better and more cost-effective than mainstream treatment.
Coun Crabbe, who has been using homeopathy for 30 years, said: “It’s totally unfair. Why is it right I can get an osteopath to manipulate my back just because I can afford it? It shouldn’t be about financial ability to pay for something.”
Homeopathy has been used by the British Royal Family since the reign of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II is the current patron of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in London.
Coun Crabbe asks – if something is good enough for the Queen, then surely it’s good enough for the people of Swindon? And why should some cities offer it and some not?
We’d like to know what you think about having more alternative therapies available on the NHS – how would it affect you? Which therapies would you like to see made available?
For more information about the therapies mentioned, please visit our Types of Therapies page.
View the original Swindon Advertiser article.
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