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Would you like herbal medicine to be available for free?

November 6, 2016

 

Would you like herbal medicine consultations to be available for free? I would love to be able to offer this, and so would many of my colleagues. There is currently no free service available in Nottingham as far as I know, the nearest are low cost consultations at Lincoln College. It is however possible to work towards this, simply by asking. GPs now have the power to hire in any outside services they think their patients require. Why not let your GP practice know if you would be interested in herbal medicine treatment? If they knew there was a demand, or if they thought it may bring benefits to their patients, they may well consider employing a medical herbalist, especially as it could save them money and relieve some of the pressure of unfilled GP vacancies at the same time! There are already several medical herbalists working with GP practices around the country, mostly just taking referrals but some are actually employed by the practice and fully integrated, which can bring huge benefits to the patients. Herbal prescriptions can not currently be subsidised on the NHS as far as I understand, but consultations certainly can.

 

If you have private health insurance, it is worth asking if herbal medicine is covered. Some private insurers do include herbal medicine, and most offer a variety of complimentary therapies. My professional body, The National Institute of Herbal Medicine, has repeatedly approached private insurers, and have always been told that herbal medicine was not covered as there was no demand. They are asking people to write to their insurer and send a copy to NIMH (info@nimh.org.uk), so that they can collect evidence and follow up on this.

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Background by Jennifer Moore
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Safety:  The information on this blog does not constitute medical advice, and is intended as general information only.  If you are pregnant, breast feeding, taking any medicines or have any complex or serious health conditions, please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking herbs.  See www.nimh.org.uk for information on medical herbalists.