23 Feb 2010

Council of Homeopaths determined to get funding

10:20 pm on 23 February 2010

The New Zealand Council of Homeopaths says it will continue to push the Government for funding, despite a British report calling for MPs there to cut state funding for the practice.

The report by the Science and Technology Committee concludes that homeopathic medicines which aim to use the body's own natural healing work no better than placebos and state funding should be stopped because the diluted remedies have no scientific basis.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand council, Gwenyth Evans, says it has been working on getting support from the Government and does not believe the British report will affect its case.

Ms Evans says it had been looking at registering homeopaths under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, but that plan is on hold as the act is being reviewed.

The council is questioning why the Government funds almost $2 million on a Maori healing practice that is similar to its own.

The Ministry of Health allocates $1.9 million a year to 16 Maori traditional healing providers.

Ms Evans says the only difference between them is that the funded practice is delivered with the use of the Maori language.

A Bay of Plenty Maori health centre supports the council's push for Government support.

Rita Tupe, a spokesperson for Te Tapena Kara mo te Iwi in Waiohau, near Whakatane, says it has taken Maori health clinics about six years to secure funding.

The ministry was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.