Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Health Debate (7). Patient Choice and the Conventional Medical Monopoly in the NHS

It was never the intention that the NHS became a monopoly supplier of just one type of medicine. 

Nonetheless, this is virtually the position as it exists today. All UK citizens are all entitled to NHS treatment. But when anyone asks for it, we are routinely and unquestioningly given one type of medicine - conventional, drug based medicine - ConMed. 

What this usually means is that patients are prescribed Big Pharma drugs - that are often useless, and usually dangerous and detrimental to our health - and which an increasing number of people do not want.

So what should the Media be asking about this situation? These are just some of the questions they should be asking, if they were doing their job, and engaging us in "the Health Debate".
  • Why does ConMed dominate the NHS for completely? Why are patients not offered information about, and access to different therapies to treat their illnesses?
  • Why does the NHS fail totally to provide patients with information about and access to the different medical therapies available for treating illness?
  • Why is the ConMed Establishment seeking to stop the NHS spending even small amounts of money on homeopathy, and other CAM therapies?
  • Why is the NHS not researching non-drug therapies, like homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, reflexology, and others, in terms of the outcomes of such therapies? Why is the NHS not comparing these outcomes with the outcomes from ConMed treatment?
  • Why are many Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) refusing to allow patients to have access to homeopathy, and other CAM therapies, and what is their justification for doing so?
  • Why, when patients are entitled to, and have paid for medical treatment on the NHS, are they being routinely denied access to the therapy of their informed choice.
  • Should patients not have the right to make an informed decision about the medical therapy they wish to use to treat their illness?
  • Why are patients being told that conditions are 'untreatable' by ConMed practitioners when they are treatable using other medical therapies?
Every political party in the UK now speaks about ‘patient choice’. Yet for any patient to have real informed choice, and any patient to give real informed consent, to any treatment, they need access to information about all medical therapies.

The NHS is currently failing to provide both information about alternative medical therapies, and giving patients proper access to them.
But perhaps equally important, the Media, in failing to ask these questions, and provide discussion on all these issues, is failing lamentably in its duty to its readers, listeners and viewers. 

Instead there is a tacit assumption, rife within the mainstream Media, that conventional medicine is the best medicine for everyone, when for an increasing number of us it is most certainly not. Increasing numbers of people are looking for non-drug treatment, and are turning to Homeopathy, and other CAM therapies. Despite this, the Media seems content to suck up to the Conventional Medical Establishment, afraid to question it, fearful of challenging it,and  considering it to be the sole source of medical expertise.

For real patient choice, and to ensure patients are fully informed, every GP surgery should be able to provide good quality and unbiased information about Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Osteopathy, Reflexology, and other medical therapies.

The eighth and final part of this series will seek to make some concluding remarks about 'the Health Debate", and why our mainstream media are refusing to engage.

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