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Thursday, 18 February 2021

Homeopathy. Why do people pay for it when they can get free medical treatment?

Homeopathy is not provided within most national health schemes around the world. Most national medical services are dominated by conventional, or pharmaceutical medicine which is either 'free at the point of need', or heavily subsidised, or available through an insurance scheme.

In the UK, for example, homeopathy has been largely excluded from the NHS whilst conventional treatment is entirely free. As a result, any patient can visit their doctor, or their hospital, and not face a large bill.

Yet many people who become ill still prefer to book an appointment with a local homeopath, and pay for homeopathic treatment. Is this irrational? Or are there good reasons for doing so?

Effectiveness. Many patients using homeopathy will have already had conventional medical treatment, and it did not work. Many may have been treated with pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines for many years, without success. Or, more usually, their condition will have got worse over time.

  • So many people will have begun using homeopathy because of a friend, or colleague, or acquaintance, who has discovered that homeopathy worked; and they turned to homeopathy to see if would work for them too.
  • Then, when homeopathy does work for them, they are hooked; and in future they will prefer to buy medical treatment that works rather than something free which is inferior.

Safety. Many patients seeking homeopathy will have experienced harm caused by conventional medical treatment, perhaps an adverse drug effect which has led to worsening the condition, or actually creates a new illness. Or they may have friends, colleagues or acquaintances who have suffered harm at the hands of conventional medicine, and advised them against this kind of treatment.

  • The decision to use homeopathy rather than conventional treatment is done on the understanding that homeopathy does not, and indeed cannot produce serious or harmful side effects. Initially, there is nothing to lose; so people just try it to see if it works for them.

It makes sense! Often, when the principles of homeopathy are explained to people, the response is - "Yes, I understand that, that makes sense to me". Often this happens when a homeopath explains that the only thing that will help them recover from illness is their own body, their natural immunity, the functioning of a strong immune system; and that all homeopathic treatment does is to help the body heal itself. This has proven to be a 'Eureka' moment for so many people.

  • More people are beginning to realise that 'health' and 'wellness' does not come from a packet of drugs, or an armful of vaccine; it cannot be imposed from without, it has to happen from within. 
  • The Covid-19 situation has been particularly helpful to homeopathy in that respect as people have recognised that it makes little sense 'chasing the virus' when the best strategy, the best treatment, is to maintain and strengthen natural immunity. Covid-19 has highlighted the fundamental difference between conventional medicine and homeopathy, and natural medical therapies generally.

It is not expensive. There are only two things that patients pay for when they see a homeopath. The remedy or remedies, which are all very inexpensive; homeopathic remedies cost a tiny fraction of pharmaceutical drugs. And the time and expertise of the homeopath. Moreover, significant progress can usually be made with even the most difficult and long-standing health conditions within 3-4 consultations, so the number of consultations are usually limited.

  • There are usually no elaborate and time-consuming medical tests that need to be done, or referral to 'specialists' or 'consultants' - just a description of the patients symptoms, and matching these with an appropriate remedy.

Conclusion. People choose to use homeopathy, and pay for it, for all these reasons. It is about patient choice that follows a cost/benefit analysis. It is similar to the choices we all make every day when we decide to buy something - we have to decide whether to buy a cheaper, or a more expensive product. Our decision is usually based on our perception of value for money, the quality of the product, and more specifically in this choice, about favourable patient outcome.

We should remember that the conventional medical establishment has made extravagant promises over the years about the effectiveness of its treatments; 'wonder drugs', 'miracle cures', 'game changing' new treatments, and 'winning the war' against disease. It has never delivered on these promises. We are sicker now than we have ever been. We suffer from more chronic disease than ever before. And Covid-19 have demonstrated its total inability to cope with viral infections and acute diseases.

So is it any wonder that more people are choosing to buy into homeopathy, and other natural medical therapies.

Conventional medicine may still be dominant within most national health provision, but it is failing, and an increasing number of people are recognising that it is failing. And it is these people who are prepared to pay for medical treatment which they know is both safe and effective. They are turning their backs on a medical system, even when it is free; they are putting their money where their mouth is.

Think about that. When a patient chooses homeopathy over conventional medicine it is a choice that costs them; they are aware that it costs them; but they are still willing to pay that cost because homeopathy is something that works so well for them.