Can you see a chiropractor on the NHS?

Can you see a chiropractor on the NHS?

Can you see a chiropractor on the NHS?

Chiropractic is a profession classed as complementary alternative medicine. So, can you see a chiropractor on the NHS? Read our blog for more information.

We need to think bigger than the symptoms

Chiropractic is a profession classed as complementary alternative medicine. This means chiropractic care treatment is a conservative approach compared to prescription medication and surgery.

At present, chiropractic is not available on the NHS. But chiropractic inclusion is only a matter of time. This effective and professional treatment will be integrated into NHS budgets, easing the burden on record waiting lists.

The main barrier to chiropractors being available at a no-charge point of service to the general public is the healthcare service is currently reactionary, with little or no prevention in mind.

Patients generally only see a medical doctor when they present with symptoms. And when they do, unless there is an education on what chiropractors are capable of treating, they inevitably choose other interventions.

Chiropractic is the third largest health profession

Chiropractic is the world’s third largest health profession after medicine and dentistry. Imagine a doctor not referring a patient to a dentist after they told them they had problems with their teeth.

It’s logical that a patient with teeth and gum problems is referred to a dentist as they are specialists in this area. The same logic applies when a patient presents with spinal mechanic problems that they should be referred to chiropractors, but seldom are.

This lack of education and inclusion of chiropractors is largely due to the influence of multi-trillion pharmaceutical companies.

Their dominance over research and treatment algorithms and education is unintentionally turning medical doctors into reactionary technicians. Because of a system and guidelines that funnels them into primarily pharmaceutical and surgical interventions, they are unable to follow proactive, holistic treatments or referral pathways for their patients.

The change would disturb a multi-trillion pound industry – therefore veiled resistance is present   

Healthcare is playing into the hands of large companies who are slow and perhaps unwilling to evolve, and thus benefit from the NHS remaining a reactionary service.

The UK is spending more per person (11% of GDP in 2021) than any other country, bar the United States. But they also come bottom of the league table of performance (functionality, productivity and patient satisfaction), again only the United States is worse.

Ultimately the UK taxpayer is funding a higher-than-average healthcare budget compared with other countries. This service is also stodgy, clunky, and underperforming by failing to keep up with the waiting list for non-life-threatening surgeries and procedures.

A proactive healthcare system is only a shift in mindset

As outlined in chapter four of David Tennison’s second book, The Back Doctor’s School of Health, he outlays the premise of a proactive healthcare system, which in time would cost a fraction of the current NHS budget, saving the country’s resources for other needs.

The focus on lifestyle change as a treatment and prevention, which include chiropractors, would be part of this saving.

The chiropractic profession would benefit from a conscious and intentional shift away from the current reactionary model as much as the NHS and the public.

The reactionary model – waiting for symptoms is often too late

Waiting for symptoms to arise is not in the public’s best interest. Some diseases are irreversible or significant damage could have already been caused to a person’s health by this delay in seeing a medical and primary care practitioner.

In the long term, unresolved or late attended issues are costly, both in terms of treatment, but perhaps more importantly at the human level where misery can often result.

Reactionary thinking is a bad habit

This bad habit of failing to think about health in proactive terms, and the progression of the disease through healthcare inaction is problematic.

In the 21st century for healthcare to still be a reactionary service, focusing solely on isolated symptoms as a cause of the disease, can be considered outdated and antiquated.

It is also hugely damaging to the economy, public confidence in a health service, and a range of other socially important areas. The reactionary nature of healthcare means there is inadequate intervention to achieve an understanding of the period of ‘dis-ease’, which in most cases causes physical disease.

Dis-ease causes disease

The phrase ‘dis-ease’ is a holistic term that encompasses thoughts, feelings, and emotions as precursors to illness.

David believes understanding the psychology of the patient is the missing piece of the jigsaw within an evolved publicly funded healthcare system. Therefore, it’s vital to start considering these factors together with diagnostic reasoning and treatment plans.

Healthcare at present is discounting these important factors. This one shift alone would improve the service across the board without a penny’s increase to the current budget.

Proactive and patient-centered

David Tennison’s recommendations for a new healthcare order are focused on delivering a truly patient-centered model.

This approach is more proactive, enabling patients to use lifestyle changes as their first line of medication. His suggested approach will lead to a greater level of prevention through pro-active behavioural treatment before resorting to industrial medication.

Once this shift happens and the national healthcare system buys in, chiropractors will not just become integrated, but integral to patient care in the UK and beyond.

Chiropractic is not available on the NHS – yet

In summary to the question, the answer is no – chiropractic is not available on the NHS at present. But with forward-thinking policymakers at the helm, we will be available on the NHS sooner rather than later.

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