In October 2011, in a House of Lords debate on the Health and Social Care Bill, Cotter said:
- "It is late at night, but I would like to turn to a personal point. I hope that we can all consider the health service in respect of the alternative health sector. I have gained very much from being treated by Chinese medicine, acupuncture and herbal treatments, as have a number of members of my family. I know that acupuncture has been discussed quite a lot but not so many years ago it was dismissed out of hand as some sort of quaint treatment, which has not proved to be the case. Recently, I opened the World Congress of Chinese Medicine in London, and I was asked to speak as I have an interest in the subject. I stayed for a good part of the day and it was absolutely clear how much scientific work has been done to assess and to show that there are clear improvements to be had from acupuncture.
- "I have also gained very much from herbal treatments. My experience with alternative medicine is that you get a quick diagnosis and treatment on the same day. The experience of my friends and family is that the assessment is often very good and getting treatment right away is, of course, so vital and can result in improvement in people's health much quicker than perhaps happens in the health service. I do not want to be too critical but when you go to a GP, they can be a bit puzzled about your condition and eventually they say after a month of trying this and that, "I will send you to a consultant". But time collapses and my experience with the alternative medicine sector, particularly with Chinese medicine, is that it is very good in that respect. I throw this point out to the Minister to see whether we can formalise it for the future."
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