Tuesday, 17 August 2010

NHS Tayside wants a homeopathic doctor

Incredibly, in these times of austerity, having already made 500 redundancies in conventional care NHS Tayside is advertising the post of "Homeopathic Doctor" to work 2 days a week for the princely sum of over £68,000 per annum. This is so insensitive on so many levels it is almost obscene. Let me rephrase - that's nearly £70,000 per year to dispense sugar tablets while at the same time hospital beds are being closed and staff laid off. These people want their heads examined.
Still, what can you do. So, in a spirit of 'if you can't beat them, join them' I decided, reluctantly to offer my meagre talents. After all, I was born and raised in Tayside so I must have a 'harmonic resonance' with the area - that's got to count for something, surely?
Here's my contribution:

Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing following your advertsement on the NHS Scotland web-site for a homeopathic doctor. I would like to apply for the post as I feel I have a number of attributes which make me uniquely qualified.
While taking your point about preferring a qualified doctor, as a veterinary surgeon I am not subject to inconvenient pressure from groups such as the BMA and parliamentary sub-committees on the subject of alternative medicine and I hope I might be considered should a suitable medically qualified candidate not be found.
Although my expertise is primarily as a practitioner of Voodoo (I am a member of the British Veterinary Voodoo Society (BVVS)) there are many similarities between Voodoo and its younger cousin Homeopathy as I hope to explain. Apart from anything else there are precisely equal amounts of convincing, scientific evidence for the efficacy and safety of both disciplines.
Although the Voodoo concept of the application of needles to specific points in patient-matched dolls in order to treat medical conditions is no less plausible than the idea that homeopaths can treat patients by the administration of water or sugar it is known that many so called experts, mired in the scientific paradigm, regard both these underlying principles with unjustified suspicion and scepticism. This is in spite of the overwhelming evidence from satisfaction surveys where patients, when asked if they feel better after treament, will invariably respond positively. What further proof is needed for the effectiveness of both modalities. As I often say, if Voodoo doesn't work, why do so many of my patients keep coming back?
Voodoo, like homeopathy is a form of vibrational medicine which relies on the manipulation of a fundamental energy within the body (Voodoo has the ‘Loa’, homeopathy has the ‘vital-force’). The inability of science to be able to demonstrate either of these fundamental forces only serves to underline the need for a more enlightened approach to the “new-health”.
Voodoo practitioners believe that dolls, if carefully prepared using samples of hair, nail clippings etc, will take on many of the energetic properties of the patient under treatment. Similarly homeopaths believe that their remedies are able to transfer energy from the base ingredients (for example dust from the Berlin Wall, dead bees or a feather from the Peregrine Falcon) to the patient via potentised water or sugar thus cancelling out the symptoms of disease. What could be more logical?
I hope the above examples are enough to convince you of the similarities between both these highly respected and most ancient modalities. To demonstrate my commitment to homeopathy I have been researching the subject and I gather that sugar is a fundamental ingredient in many remedies. Once again I am uniquely qualified to advise on local supply issues here, as I was born and raised just across the Tay from Dundee and my mother grew up in Dundee itself.
My mother tells me of a first class confectioners which she used to frequent in Lorimer Street owned by a Mrs Crawford; failing that there was an equally helpful ice cream shop owned by Joe Nolli in nearby Strathmore Avenue. By my recollection there was also an excellent sweetie shop in the Bay Road in Newport-on-Tay when I was a boy. In more recent times my favoured supplier has been the Moffat Toffee Shop (while based outside the Tayside region their Soor Plooms are second to none). I’m sure any one of these establisments could be approached to tender for supply to the NHS. If distance to Moffat is a problem, as a stop gap I have a very good recipe for Abernethy biscuits which have a lot of sugar in them (Maw Broon’s Cookbook, DC Thomson and co ltd 2007 p146).
The above may serve to give you a flavour of what I can bring to this position and I hope you will consider my application favourably. I would like to congratulate you on your enlightened attitude at this difficult time in our economy. When so many others are making cutbacks in conventional care, based as it is on mundane, western concepts of "disease" and so called "evidence", NHS Tayside is to be commended for its forward thinking attitude to energy based medical modalities. After all, if we can't give the public what it wants where would we be.



I think it's in the bag!

If you think you can do better, why not apply yourself. Click here and wait for the comforting 'ker-ching' as the money starts flowing in - http://www.jobs.scot.nhs.uk/ApplySearch/VacancyDetails.aspx?vacNo=348347


  1. Real is scientific homeopathy. It cures even when Conventional Allopathic Medicine (CAM) fails. Nano doses of evidence-based modern homeopathy medicine brings big results for everyone

  2. lol at Nancy Malik; I'm convinced!
    So much so I've already applied for the job :)

  3. Ahh, welcome to the fragrant Nancy "real is homeopathy" Malik, you grace my humble blog with your presence.

    Your reputation preceeds you I'm afraid, you are unlikely to be impressed I feel, when I point out that there is, infact no evidence to support the use of homeopathy to treat real disease. You are fooling yourself and, more importantly, your patients if you believe homeopathy works.


  4. "I often say, if Voodoo doesn't work, why do so many of my patients keep coming back?"

    Duh, because they're zombies !


  5. Good point BrritSki - there is no limit to the power of voodoo! They're also usually attached to an owner as well, which helps.


  6. Studies in support of Homeopathy published in reputed journals

    1. Scientific World Journal

    2. Lancet

    3. Neuro Psycho Pharmacology
    http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v27/n2/abs/1395862a.html // Bacopa Monnieri for memory

  7. <<1. Scientific World Journal

    Inadequate blinding, questionable randomisation - worthless data

    <<2. Lancet

    “we found insufficient evidence from these studies that homeopathy is clearly efficacious for any single clinical condition”.

    Later superceded by 2 re-analyses of the same data (one by the original author) both of which reported that the original conclusion in the 1997 paper which was extremely weakly positive for homeopathy (“The results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homeopathy are completely due to placebo”) was wrong and that homeopathy was indistinguishable from placebo

    <<3. Neuro Psycho Pharmacology
    http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v27/n2/abs/1395862a.html // Bacopa Monnieri for memory>>

    Herbal medicine - nothing to do with homeopathy

    Now have a look at these:
    1/ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v366/n6455/pdf/366525a0.pdf - “Human basophil degranulation is not triggered by very dilute antiserum against human IgE”

    2/ http://www.scielo.br/pdf/rhc/v58n6/18622.pdf - “ample evidence exists to show that the homeopathic therapy is not scientifically justifiable”

    3/ http://tinyurl.com/28uoluj - “the best clinical evidence for homeopathy available to date does not warrant positive recommendations for its use in clinical practice”

    4/ http://dcscience.net/fisher-scott-2001.pdf - “we found no evidence that active homeopathy improves the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis”

    5/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12562974 - The results of this trial do not suggest that homeopathic arnica has an advantage over placebo in reducing postoperative pain, bruising and swelling in patients undergoing elective hand surgery”

    6/ Linde, K - J Clin Epidemiol 1999 - Impact of Study Quality on Outcome in Placebo-Controlled Trials of Homeopathy - “Studies that were explicitly randomized and were double-blind as well as studies scoring above the cut-points yielded significantly less positive results than studies not meeting the criteria. In the cumulative meta-analyses, there was a trend for increasing effect sizes when more studies with lower-quality scores were added... We conclude that in the study set investigated, there was clear evidence that studies with better methodological quality tended to yield less positive results.”

    7/ http://www.sld.cu/galerias/pdf/sitios/revsalud/are_the_clinical-effects-of-homoeopathy_placebo-effects.pdf - “the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects”

    It is always possible to find studies which lend support to homeopathy (though, amazingly, you seem to have failed to do so) but they will always turn out to be flawed or subject to publication bias or both. The vast bulk of good quality evidence shows that homeopathy is totally ineffective beyond placebo effect.


  8. Just to point out it's not 2 days a week, it is 2 sessions totalling 8 hours.

    That's potentially £187 per hour, accounting for the statutory annual leave and study leave.

  9. Who do these people think they are? Bank executives or something!!!

    Obviously the pay scales demanded by homeopaths don't conform to the law of infinitessimals.