Great Moments in Government-Run Health Care

Britain’s National Health Service is an inefficient monstrosity with long waiting lines, yet the bureaucrats still manage to squander taxpayer funds on things such as “soul retrieval healing” and fingertip-tapping. Just for good measure, there is even some cheerleading for flower-therapists and crystal-healers. This type of nonsense exists in America, of course, but at least people are wasting their own money. The UK-based Times has the story:

Tom and Donna (not their real names) are professional shamen. They teach classes in shamanism at a “foundation”, where you can learn “soul retrieval healing”, help the dead “continue their journey into the Hereafter”, and investigate “the Fairy Kingdom”. These soul retrievers and Fairy Kingdom investigators also work for the NHS — where, according to Tom’s foundation profile, they “use complementary therapies to help those with mental health difficulties”. Shaman therapies are not the only unorthodox treatments for which the NHS will gladly pay.

Taxpayers are also subsidising Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) “therapy”, in which, according to one NHS trust, “subtle energies” are reordered via “tapping with the fingertips to stimulate certain meridian energy points while the client is ‘tuned in’ to the problem”. …If EFT doesn’t do the job, an NHS foot massage might help. Reflexologists believe that each part of the foot maps to a different organ, and that massaging a particular point can treat that organ. Medical doctors think it’s absurd. …Most depressing of all for the rational taxpayer is the NHS Directory for Alternative and Complementary Medicine, which aims to promote “dowsers”, “flower therapists” and “crystal healers”. We’ve just learnt that some hospitals are removing every third light bulb to save money, and that nurses are being paid half the minimum wage — or being asked to work for nothing — at others. That’s how bad the financial crisis has become. Meanwhile, the National Health Service is employing shaman fairy enthusiasts as psychological counsellors, enthusiastically providing treatments invented by “an ordained minister and a personal performance coach” who thinks tapping your body can cure diabetes, promoting dowsers and crystal healers and spending vast amounts on therapies that can’t be scientifically supported.