FUNDING for crone divination should be scrapped, the British Medical Council said last night.
Fifty NHS hospitals, all of them based in the North, currently offer treatments for dark art dabbling to the local community.
But wide-ranging government cuts have required a review of all procedures developed before 1465, or involving the consumption of any ingredient with the suffix ‘bane’.
A BMA spokesman said: “There is no scientific proof that these methods work, although when Jan Moir accidentally fell into a witch-ducking pool at Manchester General Hospital, she did turn into a swarm of flies.
“They hovered over the sexual health clinic for half an hour, attacking all the outpatients, before heading off toward Canal Street, buzzing furiously.”
The NHS spends over Â£80m a year interrogating cats and reading dove entrails to investigate reported cases of witchcraft.
Cures have become more difficult to effect since clean air regulations and mandatory recycling have outlawed live burial and human bonfires.
Dr Martin Bishop, a consultant Witchfinder in Carlisle, has defended the work of his department, despite having failed to conclusively prove a case of witchcraft since 1972, when a woman was admitted to his ward after locals discovered she could read.
He said: “What the critics choose to ignore are the many people who feel better after we’ve stuck pins into their grandmother for a bit to see if she’ll bleed.
“There’s no ‘scientific evidence’ to prove it works, but what does ‘science’ really mean anyway?”