The popularity and use of complementary and alternative therapies and medicines (CAM) has remained high in the UK and many other countries over at least the last two decades. Access to such modalities via publicly funded health and welfare systems has remained very limited over the same period. Personal health budgets, designed to offer significant control and personal choice over health care, offer a potential mechanism for some individuals to access publicly funded CAM treatments more directly. This development brings into sharp focus debates about evidence based health care and conflicts between public policy which is geared towards consumer choice and public policy which is based on certain forms of scientific evidence. This paper will examine some of the arguments for allowing access to CAM via personal health budgets, and potential objections and obstacles to this
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