BMJ – cost

British Medical Journal
In a 2002 article which many practitioners view as a landmark endorsement for the arts and health field, Richard Smith, Editor of the British Medical Journal, argued that allocating just 0.5 per cent of the UK healthcare budget to the arts might have a homoeopathic-style effect in improving people’s well-being. He said:

“More and more of life’s processes and difficulties – birth, death, sexuality, ageing, unhappiness, tiredness, loneliness, perceived imperfections in our bodies – are being medicalised. Medicine cannot solve these problems… This may be where the arts can help.”

More about cost

This website aims to make the point that there are creative activities already taking place in many communities which people affected by long-term conditions could take part in, and which would require no expenditure from health budgets.

However, this is not an argument to suggest that money should not be spent on arts in health projects: indeed, there are many myths surrounding where that money comes from. For example, did you know that …

‘…very little NHS money is spent on arts projects. Instead the money is raised from grants and donations from business, charities and the public. Even if this were not the case, the figure of £9 million spent on the arts….quoted in the media is tiny compared with the overall NHS budget, which is projected to reach £90 billion by 2008; in fact it’s less than 1/10,000th of one percent.’
Josie Aston, Arts in Hospital: Handling the Media, August 2006

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