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A faulty production line

GPs could use astrology to treat patients more efficiently, says MP

GPs may benefit from using astrology to make health services more efficient and reduce public spend, a member of the House of Commons Health Committee has told Pulse.

David Tredinnick, Conservative MP for Bosworth, said he believes that the ancient practice - used in western, eastern and native American cultures for thousands of years - could ‘certainly’ be useful to GPs and also help reduce the cost of NHS as a whole.

The debate was important, he added, to stop the overuse of antibiotics and reduce pressure on doctors, by guiding patients in understanding what type of ailments they may be prone to, based on the position of the planets at the time they were born.

Asked whether it could also help GPs in treating patients, Mr Tredinnick said: ‘Certainly. Particularly a lot of GPs from the Indian subcontinent would be aware of the Indian astrology and probably apply it. I mean there are doctors here who do astrology. It has been around for so long that I think it is time to stop saying “it has no evidence”, it has been used for 3,000 years in all these cultures and we need to be a bit more broadminded.’

‘[Astrology] does have a part to play and I’ve studied it over 20 years, but it doesn’t work on the basis of double-blind placebo controlled trials. It works on the basis of observation and to a degree intuition, and this is something that we have lost in the health service. We rely too much on evidence and we should listen more to patients’ experience which is what we always used to do.’

For example, astrology may help GPs and their patients understand which pending health issues they should be on the lookout for, he added.

Mr Tredinnick said: ‘The signs of the Zodiac have been associated with different ailments. For example Capricorns are associated with the knees, I am a Capricorn and I’ve always had to watch my knees, Aries is the head, Pisces is the feet and you have the others sort of going in order from top to bottom. That’s a fairly simple way of looking at it but some people because of their astrological make up would be more susceptible to some ailments than others.’

He added that the ‘bigger point’ though was how turning to complementary medicine could help achieve the ‘Nicholson challenge’ of cutting spending on the NHS by increasing efficiency and also the help avert the ‘drugs crisis’ linked to antimicrobial resistance.

He said: ‘We have to look at ways of reducing that demand. Traditional disciplines, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, which is very widely used in China, homeopathic medicine - 90% of pregnant women in France use homeopathic medicines - we need to try and have a better understanding of these options to reduce demand, so that it is not just about increasing supply. We have to produce other alternatives to reduce the pressure on existing services in the system and take the pressure off doctors.’

The MP clarified however that he was not suggesting the NHS pays for patients to have their astrological charts done.

‘I have not said that this should be on the health service. I have been quite clear about this. This is something that can be looked at by people, but I am not advocating that the health service pays for this service. To have a chart done, or a map done, an astrological breakdown of someone’s personality and likely behaviour costs about £30. You can go online, there are lots of people doing it, and you can buy it as a computer programme I use and I’ve done it for MPs in the past. It is very, very helpful and based on where the emphasis in your chart is you get some idea of where you are likely to be affected and where you are not.’

Pulse spoke to Mr Tredinnick in light of comments he made in the House of Commons last week that he hoped Government would stop ‘looking just at increasing the supply of drugs and consider the way that complementary and alternative medicine can reduce the demand for drugs, reduce pressures on the health service, increase patient satisfaction, and make everyone in this country happier’.

Readers' comments (71)

  • kinda explains Goverment policy now doesn`t it.
    Can I use astrology to explain to our patients how we are all shafted?

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  • must be a joke?

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  • This man should be removed from the health committee. The NHS is in crisis and this is the nonsense that our elected and tax payer funded MPs suggest as a solution. We are truly screwed if the government has people like this spouting such rubbish. This is dangerous. If MPs can get disciplined for their views on the Gaza situation then surely they should be disciplined for this kind of irresponsible suggestion. I don't normally get this angry but at the end of an oncall day now extended hours I feel like a rant!

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  • Vinci Ho

    OMG , O'Brien actually lives
    'What are the stars?' said O'Brien indifferently. 'They are bits of fire a few kilometres away. We could reach them if we wanted to. Or we could blot them out. The earth is the centre of the universe. The sun and the stars go round it.'

    Winston made another convulsive movement. This time he did not say anything. O'Brien continued as though answering a spoken objection:

    'For certain purposes, of course, that is not true. When we navigate the ocean, or when we predict an eclipse, we often find it convenient to assume that the earth goes round the sun and that the stars are millions upon millions of kilometres away. But what of it? Do you suppose it is beyond us to produce a dual system of astronomy? The stars can be near or distant, according as we need them. Do you suppose our mathematicians are unequal to that? Have you forgotten doublethink?'

    Part three, Chapter three.....

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  • What have we got to lose?!
    Perhaps if a prerequisite to a GP appt is a completed astrological chart, we can filter out a lot of the drivel we put up with every day?!

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  • strange that ... i've just checked me star sign and it says ' thousands of GPs looking to emigrate or retire ... '

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  • Consent for treatment required, sign here please: Pisces.

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  • Actually this chap is kinda right.

    Does anyone remember the truck Darren Brown used on predicting people's lives using their hand prints? Everyone was convinced they had a personal reading but in reality all the guests had exactly the same reading and it was revealed Brown used ancient techniques used by likes of astrologist to make their punters believe the fate were predicting? We could use the same technique to persuade people off inappropriate tests and treatments

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  • This level of deluded belief is quite frankly terrifying and deeply irresponsible. Can I propose a law that MPs without scientific training and qualifications, should not be allowed to hold any position relating to science, in particular healthcare? We could call it the MP Scientific Skills and Competency Act. This would protect the public from potentially harmful ideology and ensure those involved in shaping key scientific policy had an appropriate level of understanding of the likely consequences of their actions.

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  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!
    God help us all.

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