Osteopathy & Acupuncture on NHS

This month the papers are buzzing with news that National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence regarding the availability of osteopathy and acupuncture on the NHS. The Guardian notes that this move will cost the NHS £24.4m to provide acupuncture and another £16m for manipulative therapy. But £33.6m will be saved by stopping the practice of injecting therapeutic substances into people’s backs and £13.2m from reducing the number of sufferers sent for an MRI scan or X-ray. One could see this sudden interest in the alternatives as a cheap option but what ever the reason the incorporation of osteopathy and acupuncture can only elevate the profile of these safe and effective methods.
However, The Times did report positive outcomes in cases of cure chronic headaches back in March 2004. The study showed that acupuncture was as cost effective as other treatments offered by the NHS, so why has it taken so long for the policy makers to finally give patients this option?
Its still unclear just how a patient will be able to get osteopathy and acupuncture on the NHS – if the practitioner needs to be employed by the NHS or carry out the therapy in a NHS hospital or if the patient can visit the practitioners private clinic is still very unclear.
A good summary on this news story can be found on the website NHS Choices, click here to read more.

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