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Jeremy Hunt and NHS. watch

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  • View Poll Results: Jeremy Hunt and the NHS.
    Hunts proposals are largely inane
    66.67%
    Hunts proposals are perhaps inane
    6.67%
    Neutral
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    Hunts proposals are perhaps sutiable.
    6.67%
    Hunts proposals are largely suitable.
    20.00%

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    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics...labour-respond

    Your thoughts?
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    This man is dangerous, his views on the health services (I.e his ridiculous support for alternative medicine) are deeply concerning, his typical Tory attitude towards competition (I.e Health and Social Care Act) are tragic for our NHS.
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    his views on the health services (I.e his ridiculous support for alternative medicine) are deeply concerning
    No they aren't. Indeed, the NHS has used homeopathy for a very long time. Either way, the Department of Health doesn't actually take a view on this - it is left to the NHS at a local level.

    I accept there is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of homeopathy. Yet still millions of people across this country use it. It may well - indeed, probably is - entirely a formalised placebo effect: but who really gives a ****?

    There are plenty of people out there with conditions like chronic pain who swear by homeopathy. Given that there are no real clinical remedies for their condition, I would think very long and hard before withdrawing what they consider a lifeline from them.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    No they aren't. Indeed, the NHS has used homeopathy for a very long time. Either way, the Department of Health doesn't actually take a view on this - it is left to the NHS at a local level.

    I accept there is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of homeopathy. Yet still millions of people across this country use it. It may well - indeed, probably is - entirely a formalised placebo effect: but who really gives a ****?

    There are plenty of people out there with conditions like chronic pain who swear by homeopathy. Given that there are no real clinical remedies for their condition, I would think very long and hard before withdrawing what they consider a lifeline from them.
    You're right, it defeats the very purpose of science based medicine, also as some people swear by homeopathy (I think acupuncture would be the most popular) I know as many people who've tried acupuncture and rejected it as a waste of money.

    Some people do swear by it - and I'd love to have figures saying how the people who've tried it feel about it, which could significantly swing the argument.

    For me though, at a time when funding is being cost, homeopathy has to be first thing out the door.
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    You're right, it defeats the very purpose of science based medicine, also as some people swear by homeopathy (I think acupuncture would be the most popular) I know as many people who've tried acupuncture and rejected it as a waste of money.

    Some people do swear by it - and I'd love to have figures saying how the people who've tried it feel about it, which could significantly swing the argument.

    For me though, at a time when funding is being cost, homeopathy has to be first thing out the door.
    Really depends how strong the placebo effect is. Conceivably it could have a better outcome-by-cost ratio than conventional treatments, particularly if it was offsetting the need for something expensive and with a relatively poor chance of success.
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    Why do I get the feeling that whatever party in power would basically take the same route in response to the changing cultural zeitgeist? It's just a question of which monstrous egotist wants to get their name in the history books while they implement a poorly thought out system to replace the old one.
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    Alternative Medicine: Dumb therapists treating dumber patients

    (Original post by L i b)
    No they aren't. Indeed, the NHS has used homeopathy for a very long time. Either way, the Department of Health doesn't actually take a view on this - it is left to the NHS at a local level.

    I accept there is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of homeopathy. Yet still millions of people across this country use it. It may well - indeed, probably is - entirely a formalised placebo effect: but who really gives a ****?

    There are plenty of people out there with conditions like chronic pain who swear by homeopathy. Given that there are no real clinical remedies for their condition, I would think very long and hard before withdrawing what they consider a lifeline from them.
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    This man is dangerous, his views on the health services (I.e his ridiculous support for alternative medicine) are deeply concerning, his typical Tory attitude towards competition (I.e Health and Social Care Act) are tragic for our NHS.
    As much as it sticks in my craw to defend Jeremy Hunt, I don't think he has ever stated that he believes that homoeopathy works through the mechanisms its supporters claim. If you read the early day motion that he (and several other MPs) signed, it states that it supports homoeopathy for chronic difficult to treat conditions such as musculoskeletal and other chronic pain, eczema, depression, anxiety and insomnia, allergy, chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome.

    The above are all the types of condition for which we often have no alternative medication and which can soak up the resources of GPs as people return time and again to seek a cure which isn't there. In such situations, it could be argued that they could be fobbed off to a homoeopath at a lower cost (debatable, but worth investigation). Whilst there is no scientific proof that homoeopathy works better than a placebo, the nature of the homoeopathic approach (long consultations, 'bespoke' remedies etc.) is pretty much fine tuned to maximise the analgesic effect of placebo itself. For chronic conditions where there are no alternatives, it is possible to argue that homoeopathy has a place in the NHS regardless of its effectiveness through the processes it claims.

    I completely understand that this is anathema to some people and I think it has severe ethical issues with regards to the NHS being seen to promote 'alternative' therapies (i.e. if someone were later to take homoeopathic malaria tablets, for example). But if people have issues with placebos being prescribed under the auspices of the NHS, I would suggest that the handing out of SSRIs is more damaging, given their terrible side effects and the increasing amount of meta data which is pointing towards their medically insignificant benefit above placebo. Or doctors shooing away troublesome patients with a viral infection by giving them a course of antibiotics just because they want a quiet life.

    As far as I can see, Jeremy Hunts support of homoeopathy is not based on his poor understanding of science, but of a fundamental attachment to 'patient choice' being at the heart of healthcare. It is this ideology that colours all Tory healthcare policy, from widening private sector influence to pursuing the entirely boneheaded concept of GP led commissioning. It is for these beliefs that he should be attacked and not for whatever stance he may or may not hold when it comes to homoeopathy.
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    (Original post by Crimsonyte)
    Alternative Medicine: Dumb therapists treating dumber patients
    I was rather hoping for a deeper analysis than this. We are all, I think, quite aware of the lack of scientific evidence in support of homeopathy. We'd moved on from that. What's now the issue is whether, notwithstanding that point, it has value - or rather a sufficiency of value to command the relatively small amount of spending the NHS put into it.

    Although if you do want to take it back to that level: I've come across a good few people who use alternative medicine. Some of these people I respect and believe to be perfectly intelligent.
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    (Original post by -Neuro-)
    I completely understand that this is anathema to some people and I think it has severe ethical issues with regards to the NHS being seen to promote 'alternative' therapies (i.e. if someone were later to take homoeopathic malaria tablets, for example).
    Indeed, there are also other considerations. If we believe the placebo effect is dependent as you suggest on the element and detail of the process - the more ritualised and pseudoscientific the better - then there are huge issues around informed choice and consent.

    Placebos by their very nature seem to rely on a lack of correct information.

    As far as I can see, Jeremy Hunts support of homoeopathy is not based on his poor understanding of science, but of a fundamental attachment to 'patient choice' being at the heart of healthcare. It is this ideology that colours all Tory healthcare policy, from widening private sector influence to pursuing the entirely boneheaded concept of GP led commissioning. It is for these beliefs that he should be attacked and not for whatever stance he may or may not hold when it comes to homoeopathy.
    I completely agree with your first point, while rather disagreeing with the rest of it!

    I'd also point out that the incredible popularity attached to homeopathy, and the strong feelings of its many advocates. Any time there's an indication of some withdrawal of homeopathic treatment, an MP's mailbag will positively bulge with letters from homeopathy supporters. Populism, certainly - but who can resist a bit of that.
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    Well, if you think about it, homeopathy is in essence a twisted branch of psychology, that in essence uses the placebo effect to 'claim' results in patients. Now if the NHS continues to support Alternative Therapy in such a way and it grows, the concern I have is that it will lose its efficacy. More and more people will become aware of it, and its methods. Academics will criticise it and bring out the flaws in its methods. Let's be honest here, they give sugar pills to people after doing some spiritual mumbo jumbo to it..... Personally, I feel if homeopathy is still going to provide these 'miracle cures', that it should be done in the private sector, where it'll be less scrutinized, and hence more effective for patients.

    Do you see what I mean?


    (Original post by L i b)
    I was rather hoping for a deeper analysis than this. We are all, I think, quite aware of the lack of scientific evidence in support of homeopathy. We'd moved on from that. What's now the issue is whether, notwithstanding that point, it has value - or rather a sufficiency of value to command the relatively small amount of spending the NHS put into it.

    Although if you do want to take it back to that level: I've come across a good few people who use alternative medicine. Some of these people I respect and believe to be perfectly intelligent.
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    (Original post by -Neuro-)
    As much as i…...e processes it claims.
    The medical profession has a legal and ethical duty not to lie to it's patients about the treatment that is being given.

    That means telling patients that Homeopathy does not work.

    (Original post by -Neuro-)
    I completely understand that this is anathema to some people and I think it has severe ethical issues with regards to the NHS being seen to promote 'alternative' therapies (i.e. if someone were later to take homoeopathic malaria tablets, for example). But if people have issues with placebos being prescribed under the auspices of the NHS, I would suggest that the handing out of SSRIs is more damaging, given their terrible side effects and the increasing amount of meta data which is pointing towards their medically insignificant benefit above placebo. Or doctors shooing away troublesome patients with a viral infection by giving them a course of antibiotics just because they want a quiet life.
    So, your logic is….unless we complain about other incorrect things….then we cannot complain about Homeopathy.
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    It rhymes with Hunt...
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    (Original post by DorianGrayism)
    The medical profession has a legal and ethical duty not to lie to it's patients about the treatment that is being given.

    That means telling patients that Homeopathy does not work.
    But in many cases, it does indeed work - assuming you believe a patient's view of their own health is any measure of it.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    But in many cases, it does indeed work - assuming you believe a patient's view of their own health is any measure of it.
    That's the important distinction - homeopathy can improve a patient's view of their own health but not their health itself. It's fine if they're just feeling a bit under the weather or have something that will pass on its own but if they have anything seriously wrong it's going to delay effective treatment. There's a stronger case for the use of placebos in things like chronic pain management but homeopathy is not advertised as only that. Homeopaths tell their patients (often illegally) that they can cure their cancer, prevent malaria, cure AIDS, and do any number of ridiculous things.

    The discussion of whether placebos can be ethically prescribed on the NHS is a separate issue. We could decide that NHS practitioners can offer placebos without lending legitimacy to a branch of alternative medicine that fleeces people for false promises. Placebos don't need the bizarre mythology and harmful industry that's behind homeopathy in order to work (and could be offered for far less money).
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    It rhymes with Hunt...
    Blunt?
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    (Original post by betaglucowhat)
    That's the important distinction - homeopathy can improve a patient's view of their own health but not their health itself. It's fine if they're just feeling a bit under the weather or have something that will pass on its own but if they have anything seriously wrong it's going to delay effective treatment. There's a stronger case for the use of placebos in things like chronic pain management but homeopathy is not advertised as only that. Homeopaths tell their patients (often illegally) that they can cure their cancer, prevent malaria, cure AIDS, and do any number of ridiculous things.
    Let's keep in mind here that there's a difference between sauntering in to a homeopath's practice from the street and being referred to one by your GP on the NHS.

    I'm vaguely familiar with the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital's existence. From what I've seen, it's a lovely place controlled by the local NHS Board, with a nice garden - the only one in the UK now to offer in-patient homeopathic treatment. It's not some sort of fly-by-night operation.

    Placebos don't need the bizarre mythology and harmful industry that's behind homeopathy in order to work (and could be offered for far less money).
    I think that's exactly what they need in order to be effective - the bizarre mythology at least. It's that mythology that keeps homeopathy going. If you were to simply produce a tablet - let's call it Tablet X - and claimed it could, despite every scientific study, physically alter your body for the better, it would never be used. Tablet X would, in fact, be ridiculed. Homeopathy has a history behind it and a level of pseudoscience that makes it effective.
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    (Original post by meenu89)
    Blunt?
    Stunt?
 
 
 
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