This paper, written by Jim Rogers, examines some of the
arguments for allowing personal health budgets to access
complementary and alternative therapies and medicines (CAM) and
highlights some of the potential objections and obstacles to
Personal health budgets are designed to give users significant
control and personal choice over their health care and services and
allow them to select and choose the treatments, products and
services which achieve the best outcomes.
Over the last 20 years complementary and alternative therapies
and medicines (CAM) have been popular and well used in the UK and
other countries. However access to such approaches via publicly
funded health and welfare systems has remained very limited because
they do not fulfil specific evidence based criteria for health
This paper brings into focus the emerging debate about evidence
based health care and conflicts between public policy which is
geared towards consumer choice and public policy which is based on
certain forms of scientific evidence.
With very clear evidence that choice and control are beneficial
to health, this paper argues that moves towards greater choice in
health care and more personalised care should be welcomed.
The paper goes on to argue that the mechanism of personal
budgets is demonstrably good for health, and whether an individual
chooses to is their budget to purchase CAM treatments or not should
be a matter for negotiation with their health care professionals
but ultimately a matter of personal choice.
The full paper is available to download