§ Mr. Speller
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to bring suitable forms of alternative medicine within the scope of the National Health Service; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeman
The Department of Health is primarily responsible for medical treatment provided under the 311W NHS, and there is already provision for the use of complementary therapies within it. NHS practitioners can offer to use any form of treatment, including any of the complementary therapies, if they consider it to be in the interest of their patients and they feel competent to provide it.
The wider use of complementary therapies in the NHS depends on those doctors already practising these methods convincing more of their fellow practitioners of the benefits and effectiveness of these forms of treatment.