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NI GPs can widen referrals for alternative therapies

GPs in Northern Ireland are to be given greater opportunity to refer their patients for complementary and alternative therapies.

Health Minister Paul Goggins last week announced a £200,000 fund to integrate the therapies into the NHS in the province.

GPs will have to bid for a share of the funds, through their local health board,

to allow patients to be

referred directly from their practice to the alternative


The scheme will start in January and the first phase will run for a year.

Mr Goggins said: 'It is important that both the traditional and complementary sector work together to establish good working relationships and to share best practice.'

Mr Goggins also announced extra funding for an 'Integrated Health Awards' and an 'Integrated Health Associates' scheme, which will be run in partnership with the Prince of Wales Foundation for Integrated Health.

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