King Charles has appointed a doctor who has long championed alternative medicines to head the medical wing of the Royal Household.
Dr Michael Dixon has been leading the Royal Medical Household – the medical wing that comprises a range of physicians and surgeons to the Sovereign and to the Royal Household – the Palace confirmed to the Telegraph.
“Dr Dixon does not believe homeopathy can cure cancer. His position is that complementary therapies can sit alongside conventional treatments, provided they are safe, appropriate and evidence based,” the statement said.
“As Prince of Wales, The King’s position on complementary therapies, integrated health and patient choice was well documented. In his own words, ‘Nor is it about rejecting conventional medicines in favour of other treatments: the term complementary medicine means precisely what it says’.”
Mr Dixon, who has worked for NHS for almost 50 years and practices as a part-time GP in Devon, has been an outspoken advocate for the complementary use of homeopathy.
He wrote a paper citing data which suggested “the effects of homeopathy may be real” and was appointed patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy in 2017.
The doctor has previously worked as a medical adviser to the King when he was Prince of Wales whose support for the use of homeopathic medicine alongside other treatments is well known.
He once welcomed a Christian healer into his medical practice to address the needs of chronically ill patients.
The appointment has raised concerns among academics and campaigners who described it as “worrying and inappropriate”.
Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor at the University of Exeter, said the support for homeopathy undermines “undermining evidence-based medicine and rational thinking”.
“We and others have shown that homeopathy is not an effective therapy, which has today become the accepted consensus. To me, this means its only legitimate place is in the history books of medicine.”
In 2006, Dr Dixon voiced his opposition to NHS proposals aimed at reducing funding for alternative medicines. He wrote against what he referred to as "clinical barons", asserting that those individuals should not dictate the course of action for those dealing with the daily challenges of human suffering.
At that time Dr Dixon was serving as chair of The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, a charity that was founded by the king to promote the complementary use of homeopathic and allopathic medicines.
Dr Dixon has replaced Prof Sir Huw Thomas who led the Royal Medical Household since 2014 after being appointed as physician in 2005.