Skeptic News: Louisville hospitals embracing alternative medicine

a patient receiving a massageFrom: Courier Journal

Hospitals across the region are increasingly weaving “complementary” services such as healing touch, yoga and art and music therapy into their care — reflecting a resurgence in these healing methods nationwide and an effort to combine them with traditional methods to form “integrative medicine.”

Cancer programs at University and Baptist Health Louisville, for example, offer patients an array of services. Norton Healthcare is expanding its complementary offerings and re-emphasizing them. And KentuckyOne Health plans to launch a pilot “integrative health” program next year.

Critics say some complementary techniques remain unproven. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, notes: “Rigorous, well-designed clinical trials for many (complementary) therapies are often lacking; therefore, the safety and effectiveness of many … are uncertain.”

Coming from a country where our southern neighbours are engaged in a massively unpopular reorganisation of it’s health service in something people fear will eventually become something akin to the American “medical” system this paints a worrying image of where the NHS might be headed.

When concerns about the bottom line and making as much money from patients are the basis for your health service you have to wonder if that drives attempts by private health care providers to provide services not based on evidence but on spurious and faddish popularity among patients.

The problem? It lends credibility to dis-proven and un-evidenced treatments  and convinces people that these things may work. Allowing amateurish or unscrupulous individuals to trade on this credibility to the detriment of those who seek and need healthcare.

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