§ Miss Lestor
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the savings to the NHS drugs budget from the use of complemetary therapies in general practice; and if she will make provision to fund research to provide evidence for such savings.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
No such assessment has been made directly involving complementary therapies. The Department and the National Health Service management executive have taken a number of measures to contain spending on the NHS drugs budget and shall continue to seek ways of improving the effectiveness of these measures, as well as considering, new ones.
§ Mr. Congdon
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the contribution that complementary therapists make to the health of the nation.
§ Mr. Sackville
The national health service may adopt a variety of approaches in meeting the health needs of the population. Natural therapies may be incorporated in local arrangements for health care, including programmes aimed at meeting the targets in the key areas initially selected for action in "The Health of the Nation" strategy, where they are considered appropriate and cost-effective.