British government supports pseudo-science

Her Britannic Majesty’s Government has rejected the recommendation of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that state funding for homeopathy be withdrawn…

“The Department of Health will not be withdrawing funding for homeopathy on the NHS, nor will the licensing of homeopathic products be stopped. Decisions on the provision and funding of any treatment will remain the responsibility of the NHS locally.

“A patient who wants homeopathic treatment on the NHS should speak to his or her GP. If the GP is satisfied this would be the most appropriate and effective treatment then, subject to any local commissioning policies, he or she can refer them to a practitioner or one of the NHS homeopathic hospitals.

“In deciding whether homeopathy is appropriate for a patient, the treating clinician would be expected to take into account safety, clinical and cost-effectiveness as well as the availability of suitably qualified and regulated practitioners. The Department of Health would not intervene in such decisions.”

If clinical effectiveness is a relevant factor in deciding on appropriate medical treatments, as it must be, then homeopathy is out of the question, by definition. In which case the government is talking out of its collective arse. But it wouldn’t be the first time, would it now?

I must say that this decision has come as a shock to me, as well as a disappointment. Call me naive, but it simply never occurred to me that the government could be that stupid.