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   Oct 23

Tory calls for ‘proper debate’ on homeopathy

A CALL has been made for a “proper debate” on the merits of homeopathy after figures revealed “huge discrepancies” in spending on the treatment by health boards.

While some health boards refuse to fund the controversial style of treatment, others spend thousands of pounds every year and one area spent almost £10 million in five years, according to the statistics obtained by the Scottish Conservatives.

In five years, almost £12.3m was spent on homeopathic treatment in Scotland.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which has a homeopathy hospital and also caters for patients from Ayrshire and Arran, has spent £9.7m since 2008/9. NHS Lothian, which announced in June this year that it was to “move away” from offering the treatment, has spent more than £1.1m on it over the same five-year period.

However, three health boards – Fife, Forth Valley and Lanarkshire – refuse to offer homeopathy and have spent nothing on it.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman and deputy leader, Jackson Carlaw MSP, said: “It doesn’t really matter whether you think homeopathy is a lifesaver or a nonsense, this disparity has to end.

“We need a proper debate on the merits of the treatment so a proper approach can be taken.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy covers a wide range of services and we recognise that CAM therapies may offer relief to some people suffering from a wide variety of conditions.”

Source: Herald Scotland

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