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Alternative medicine funding sparks protest

PUBLISHED: 10:31 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 10:33 12 August 2010

A HOMEOPATH was due to join patients and practitioners yesterday to lobby parliament in protest of moves to cut NHS funding of the treatments.

A HOMEOPATH was due to join patients and practitioners yesterday to lobby parliament in protest of moves to cut NHS funding of the treatments.

Barbara Tibballs, of Oaklands Road, Bromley, was due to lobby MPs at the House of Commons, alongside the charity Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century (H: MC21).

Having run a private practice from home and in Blackheath for eight years, she criticised a report by the Commons Science and Technology Committee, published on Tuesday, that recommended natural treatments be removed from NHS funding.

Yesterday, she was due to join lobbyists in handing MPs a declaration claiming "Homeopathy worked for me" singed by 25,000 people.

She said: "I treat people who have had long standing chronic issues which the medical profession has not been able to answer - such as eczema and asthma.

"Often the medical treatments they use are steroids which stops the symptoms while in homeopathy we deal with the patient from the inside out building up their constitution and treating the problem as a whole."

One patient, Dannielle Hollands, from Welling, said she had her chronic eczema completely cleared using homeopathy after conventional medicine failed.

But critics say that there is no evidence that homeopathy, which has existed for 200 years and funded by the NHS since 1948, has any success aside from the placebo effect.

The report read: "We consider the notion that ultra-dilutions can maintain an imprint of substances previously dissolved in them to be scientifically implausible.

"In our view, the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that homeopathic products perform no better than placebos."

But saleswoman Ms Hollands, who now gives her one-year-old son Tommy Colter homeopathic treatments, added: "I am evidence that it works and my son is evidence that it works. My son doesn't know what he is taking so it can't be a placebo, he has never had any conventional medicine for anything - not even Calpol."

kate.mead@archant.co.uk

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