UK: Charles defends holistic medicine
Charles defends holistic medicine
Your view: should the NHS pay for holistic medicine?
The Prince of Wales will defend alternative therapies when he addresses the
World Health Assembly today, after a group of leading UK doctors attacked
The prince is a advocate of homeopathy
Prince Charles will urge foreign health ministers to adopt a more holistic
approach to tackling health problems when he delivers his speech in Geneva.
His comments come a day after a group of British scientists implored NHS
Trusts to reject the use of complementary medicine and use available funds
for treatments "based on solid evidence".
In a letter published in the Times, Michael Baum, emeritus professor of
Surgery at University College London, and 12 other scientists said funding
of what they called "unproven or disproved treatments" in the NHS was
The letter, also signed by Nobel Prize-winner Sir James Black, criticised a
report commissioned by the Prince which suggested that making complementary
therapies more widely available on the NHS might lead to widespread benefits.
"At a time when the NHS is under intense pressure, patients, the public and
the NHS are best served by using the available funds for treatments that
are based on solid evidence," it concluded.
But Charles, a steadfast advocate of alternative therapies, plans to stress
the importance of factors like diet, the environment and housing to
well-being during his address to the World Health Organisation's
"The state of our health reflects the food we eat, the exercise we take,
the water we drink, the air we breathe and the quality of our housing and
sanitation," he will tell the gathering.
He will go on to say: "Of course, none of what I say today should detract
in any way from the extraordinary success that modern medicine has
achieved, particularly over the course of the 20th Century, in preventing
and treating such terrible diseases as smallpox and polio."
The use of complementary medicines alongside orthodox treatments is
something the heir to the throne first raised more than 20 years ago.
He went on to establish the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health,
which encourages the development of complementary medicines and integrated
Supporters of complementary therapies said today that the campaign urging
the NHS to reject the treatments was frustrating and amounted to "medical
Dr Peter Fisher, clinical director of the Royal Homeopathic Hospital, told
the BBC: "I think what this suggestion amounts to is a form of medical
apartheid: any therapy which can't trace its origins to what is called the
biochemical model should be excluded from the NHS."
Sheri Nakken, R.N., MA, Hahnemannian Homeopath
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