Editorials

Commissioning complementary medicine

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6988.1151 (Published 06 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1151
  1. Iain Smith
  1. Senior lecturer in health services research Nuffield Institute for Health, Leeds LS2 9PL

    Researchers need to concentrate on showing that these treatments work

    The opportunities presented to commissioning health authorities to decide what health care to purchase for local people has also provided an opportunity to rethink old prejudices. The old prejudices against complementary medicine are being rethought for several reasons. Firstly, many commissioning authorities and fundholding general practitioners are either commissioning or providing complementary medicine as part of routine contracting.1 Financially, this is marginal activity, costing typically less than pounds sterling20000 a year out of an average authority budget of pounds sterling200m. Also some complementary medicines, such as acupuncture and homoeopathy, have been part of normal NHS activity for many years and this has blurred the margins between conventional and complementary medicine. Secondly, the medical profession has relaxed its attitude toward complementary medicine over the past decade.2 Thirdly, both main political parties support the development of …

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