Homeopathy and Greg Hands. A Response

I recently received a reply from Greg Hands, the MP for Chelsea and Fulham, regarding a letter I wrote to him questioning his stance on homeopathy in the NHS. The response contains little in the way of answers to my questions – he is after all a career politician – and can be seen here.

If you are as moved and bewildered by homeopathy being available on the NHS then send a letter to your MP using WriteToThem. The nonsense must cease.

Dear Mr Hands,

Thank you for your swift reply to something that you view as such an old issue. There are some clever quotes expressing the relevance of the past with respect to the present but I’m sure you know them well enough without me repeating one. I will however say that you should find in politics that it is quite common for one to be questioned on one’s past mistakes. Which was part of the reason for my original letter to you.

Now then, whilst EDM 1240 does not seem all that important by itself, expressing support for homeopathy on the NHS set a precedence which allowed, and continues to allow, others such as David Tredinnick to peddle nonsense within the walls of Westminster. His recent talk of touch therapy was particularly shocking and amusing.

Consider that homeopathy has been proven several times over to be no more effective than a placebo. Consider also other offerings that are similarly ineffective: prayer, healing crystals, reiki, magnet therapy and anything sold as a Traditional Chinese Medicine. Would you allow a loved one to use such treatments? Any answer other than no is ludicrous. You are giving your support to something that is being sold as a HIV cure on the African continent. You are giving your support to what amounts to murder.

You say the Government’s wider policy with the NHS is to devolve responsibility to those on the frontlines, yet only this week a bill was passed without full support from the RCN, RCP or RCGP. You will only listen when you hear the words that best please you. This is exactly the time action needs to be taken to remove homeopathy from the NHS. Austerity measures are in force and money can no longer be wasted on pointless pills.

As for patient choice we really must consider what we mean when we say that. Patient choice is very important on the NHS. Some patients fear injections, some patients  believe green pills work better for them. The point with choosing between an injection or a pill is that, whilst their efficacy may not always be equal, they are effective and they are real treatments, not sham medicinals.

With the end of this letter I ask you 2 simple questions:
1) Will you allow yourself and your loved ones to be treated by homeopathic treatments alone until such time as you agree to their removal from the NHS?
2) If you will not be treated by homeopathy alone will you take a stand against it and move to remove homeopathy as a service on the NHS, using money that would have been wasted to fund more doctors and nurses?

Yours sincerely,
James Smith

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