HC Deb 20 May 1998 vol 312 c432W
Mr. Tredinnick

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make complementary medicine therapies more readily available under the NHS to those on lower incomes. [42566]

Ms Jowell

Health authorities are able to include complementary therapies within the range of services commissioned to meet local health needs, if they wish to do so. No charges are made to patients for such services when provided in the National Health Service. Access to NHS services is based on clinical need, not the patient's ability to pay.

Availability of complementary therapies within the NHS reflects, therefore, the decisions taken locally by health authorities and general practitioners about the clinical and cost effectiveness of such services, and the priority to be given to their provision in the light of other competing demands for the resources made available for local health needs.