PHBs: a new way of accessing complementary therapies?

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 this.

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 care.

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 below.

Last Updated : 28 February 2011. Page Author: Paul Ferguson.