What is happening within the NHS, and other national health services around the world, does not make sense - unless and until you realise what is driving events. First, let's put various observations about the NHS out there for consideration. Similar observation apply to most health services around the world.
- NHS Funding. The NHS is always struggling to stave off bankruptcy. However much money is poured into the organisation patient demand always outstrips resources. I have written about this recurring NHS crisis for many years - it has become one of my regular tasks every winter!
- NHS doctors are on their knees. Indeed, physician burnout has become a global crisis, according to this Lancet article. There are not enough doctors, many of whom are retiring early because of the pressures, medical schools are having difficulty filling their training places, and the number of new doctors does not match the number of outgoing doctors. So the workload for those remaining increases. The average number of registered patients per doctor in England has risen to 2,087, an extra 56 people compared to last year. It has been rising like this for many years now. Registered patients in England increased by over 723,000 (1.2%) between July 2018 and July 2019, but the number of doctors fell by 441 between March 2018 and March 2019.
- Patient Safety. It is recognised within the conventional medical establishment that this situation, which is happening around the world, is putting patient safety at serious risk. Doctors are warning that the increasing numbers of patients they have to see each day is 'concerning', and that this is putting patient safety under threat.
- Homeopathy. At the same time the NHS is seeking to reduce (from next-to-nothing to nothing) the amount of money that it spends on homeopathy. The same in happening in France, where reimbursement for homeopathic treatment is set to end in 2021. And German health insurers are now being urged to do the same thing, threatening the livelihoods of 7,000 qualified homeopaths. Australia is doing the same, and no doubt there is, or there will be, pressure in many other countries to do likewise.
- Many homeopaths run busy practices, but most homeopaths could increase the number of patients they see every week. So why are they not being asked to take up some of this burden, in the interests of the mental health of doctors, and the safety of patients?
This sequence of circumstances does not appear to be rational. And indeed it is not. No health service would face this situation and not take sensible common-sense action to relieve doctors of some of the burden they face. It is proof, if proof is still needed, that the NHS is run by, and for powerful vested interests, namely the conventional medical establishment, and in particular, the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry. Not only do they want to maintain their monopoly, they want to avoid another medical therapy from the recognition that this would give them.
So the NHS is not being run for patients, and moreover, there is evidence that this is the case. There have been innumerable studies that have shown clearly that patients love homeopathy - when they are able to get access to it. I outlined a number of these studies from a variety of countries in this blog. And there is also evidence that access to homeopathy provides good patient outcomes. One such study which looked into this, concluded as follows:
"Patients seeking homoeopathic treatment had a better outcome overall compared with patients on conventional treatment, whereas total costs in both groups were similar.'
So if doctors offered their patients a referral to a homeopath the likely
outcome for both doctors and patients would be beneficial.
It will not happen though, not yet anyway. The failure, and eventual collapse of conventional medicine, will have to be much closer before such common sense decision making comes to the fore in the provision of the NHS, and national health services around the world.
In the meantime, homeopathic treatment will increasingly become a treatment available only to those patients who can afford to pay for it - something which is entirely alien to the inaugural principles of the NHS.