Complementary therapies, such as #acupuncture and #herbalmedicine, should be made available on the NHS, according to Welsh Secretary Peter Hain. The Neath MP, a fan of alternative medicine, will write to Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones in a bid to persuade him to consider introducing a pilot scheme in Wales. Mr Hain’s comments come as English Health Secretary Andy Burnham announced a pilot project will assess the feasibility and benefits of complementary and alternative therapies to treat low back pain in the NHS.
Mr Hain said: "I am a big supporter of integrated health and very much welcome the announcement by the Department of Health that a pilot on the use of complementary and alternative treatments will take place in England. This follows the complementary health pilot I oversaw in Northern Ireland, while Secretary of State, which focused on a range of alternative treatments for stress, depression, anxiety and musculoskeletal problems. The results of the Northern Ireland pilot demonstrated considerable benefits to both patients, who reported improved health, and to the NHS, with reduced patient visits and prescriptions as well as benefits to the wider economy with people taking less time off work. This suggests the potential for massive cost savings in the NHS drugs bills and overheads, releasing more funds to improve patient care" (source: Wales Online).