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A New Kind of Health Service for the 21st Century

Press release from the British Holistic Medical Association 3 December 2004  

"We have to find a new way of doing medicine and running the health service for the 21st century".

 That is the message from Prof. David Peters to the British Holistic Medical Association's annual conference held on 3 December 2004 .

Prof. Peters, who is clinical director of the University of Westminster's School of Integrated Health, says that the NHS is facing a crisis more serious than any that has faced it before.  The only way forward, he believes, is for the NHS to adopt a whole person approach to healthcare.

"The technological microscope is good at seeing genes", he says.  "But the person is disappearing from the doctor's view".

"Yet the cost of high tech medicine is spiralling out of control while diseases associated with stress, lifestyle and the environment are running at epidemic levels". 

"Compassion and imagination are too often forced to give way to targets and performance measures.  So the doctors and nurses are losing the confidence they once had that each, individually, can make a difference to their patients.  Some are even leaving the professions".

"These trends are all signs that we need a new way of looking at medicine in the 21st century, and a new way of doing it.  We need holism in medicine more than ever before".

"Science is offering a growing support for practitioners' interest in the therapeutic relationship and for mind-body medicine.  It has provided good evidence for the effectiveness of some complimentary therapies.  But can the NHS turn the science into a practical reality?"

"Patient-centred medicine demands that it should.  Disease is not just a genetic destiny and medicine is more than the mechanical repair of a human machine.  We have to empower people's search for health and well-being.  That means whole person-holistic-medicine".

Click here to link to the British Holistic Medical Association website


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