Highlands & Islands

Complaint after NHS Highland's decision on homeopathy

A patients' representative is to make a formal complaint against NHS Highland over its board's decision to end funding for homeopathic treatment.

The board agreed with health chiefs who argued there was no evidence that homeopathy worked.

But Gavin Hogg, a member of the patients' forum Highland Health Voices, said the board was prejudiced against homeopathic remedies.

He said the decision was flawed and wants it reversed.

Mr Hogg, from Fort William, told BBC Scotland: "Quite often homeopathy is absolutely used as a last resort when none of the orthodox treatments work.

"And quite often the homeopathy is the one that does work.

"It is a very low cost service and could potentially save the health board quite a lot of money."

'No evidence'

On Tuesday, the board of NHS Highland agreed to end future support for homeopathic treatment for its patients.

Director of public health Dr Margaret Somerville told members there was "no evidence" that the remedies work.

Patients presently receiving homeopathic treatment will be allowed to continue in the meantime.

NHS Highland has service agreements for the treatment of patients by two Inverness-based homeopaths.

Since 2007-08, the board has spent £44,732 on homeopathic treatments.

The health board's figures also showed that since 2002-03 it has helped to provide 4,896 homeopathic treatments.

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