By Lilian Anekwe
BMA leaders have condemned homeopathy as ‘witchcraft’ and called for NHS funding for it to be withdrawn.
Delegates at the BMA’s junior doctor’s conference in London last weekend voted overwhelmingly to pass a motion deploring the use of homeopathy in the NHS and all training placements that offer training in homeopathic principles.
The BMA has already spoken out on its scepticism of the value of homeopathic treatments, and a Pulse survey in February found 80% of 800 GPs polled said the NHS should no longer fund homeopathic treatments.
Dr Tom Dolphin, deputy chairman of the BMA’s junior doctors committee in England, told the conference: ‘Homeopathy is witchcraft. It is a disgrace that nestling between the National Hospital for Neurology and Great Ormond Street [Hospital] there is a homeopathic hospital paid for by the NHS.’
Dr Gordon Lehany, chairman of the BMA’s junior doctors committee in Scotland, said some junior doctors were spending part of their training rotations in homeopathic hospitals.
‘At a time, when the NHS is struggling for cash, we should be focusing on treatments that have proven benefit. If people wish to pay for homeopathy that’s their choice, but it shouldn’t be paid for on the NHS until there is evidence that it works.’
The motion was supported by BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum, and if passed at the BMA’s annual representative’s meeting in Brighton next month, will be mandated as an official BMA policy.
Dr Andrew Sikorski, a GP in Wadhurst, East Sussex, who practices homeopathy, criticised the resolution as ‘misinformed’.
‘[After] numerous medical colleagues, from neophyte to professor, have failed to offer them succour, these suffering patients find measurable benefit from the interventions offered,’ he said.
BMA leaders described homeopathy as ‘witchcraft’ The motion in full
The BMA Junior Doctors Conference on Sat 8th May passed the following motion:
“That this Meeting believes that, given the complete lack of valid scientific evidence of benefit:
(i) homoeopathy should no longer be funded by the NHS; and
(ii) no UK training post should include a placement in homoeopathy.”