There is another nail in the coffin of publicly funded witchcraft in the NHS. The clinical commissioning group for NHS Liverpool has decided to decommission their homeopathy service. Admittedly, they were only spending about £30,000 on the service but even one penny would have been a complete waste of scarce public money and a boon to an industry built on lies, deception and magical thinking of the most childish kind.
One thing that I did find a bit odd was that they made their decision on the basis of a consultation. This would be reasonable if it was a consultation of experts; it would take about 45 seconds to explain that homeopathy is a complete nonsense and the service could have been scrapped post haste. In this instance, however, the consultation was a public one. I can’t for the life of me fathom why you would ask the public whether or not it’s a good idea to fund a particular treatment or not. Should we check with them that it’s okay to give chemotherapy drugs to cancer patients? Must we check with them to see if loperamide is good at stopping the shits? It’s bizarre that we would ask them if magic should be funded from our taxes.
In any case, it is a victory for rational, science-based medicine. There are only about two places left in the whole country that still provide any public money for homeopathy and at least one of them is currently running a similar consultation. With any luck the scourge of homeopaths and their vials of pure water walking the corridors of respectable hospitals will soon be a distasteful memory. The next battle will be for the pharmacies.