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Switzerland has included in its medical insurance Natural Therapies such as Homeopathy and Acupuncture. The Government announced this after carrying out a study that lasted two years on the effectiveness and results of these techniques.
A Swiss Government report on Homeopathic Medicine was published in late 2011, representing the most comprehensive assessment of Homeopathic Medicine ever published by a Government, and has recently appeared in book form in English (Homeopathy in Healthcare: Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs. Bornhoft and Matthiessen, Springer). This report states that homeopathic treatment is effective and that it should be included in the Swiss national health program. Not only does it work, it is cheaper than conventional medicine.
Since 1998, the Government of Switzerland decided to expand its national health system to include certain complementary and alternative medicines, including homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, anthroposophic medicine and neural therapy. The reimbursement of the expenses of these patients was an interim measure, while the Swiss government commissioned a study to determine whether they were effective and cost-effective. The provisional reimbursement for these alternative treatments ended in 2005, but as a result of this study, the national health program has again started reimbursing for homeopathic and other alternative treatments. In fact, as a result of a national referendum, more than two-thirds of voters supported the inclusion of alternative and homeopathic medicines within the national health program (Dacey, 2009; Rist, Schwabl, 2009).
The Swiss report found evidence to support homeopathic treatment of respiratory tract infections and respiratory allergies. The report cites 29 studies on "Upper respiratory tract infections and allergic reactions", of which 24 of them offer a positive result in favor of homeopathy. Additionally, six of the seven controlled studies that compared homeopathic treatment with conventional medical treatment showed that homeopathy is more effective than conventional medical interventions (the study found another homeopathic treatment equivalent to conventional medical treatment). All these results of homeopathic treatment did not carry the common side effects of conventional drug treatment. When evaluating only the randomized, placebo-controlled trials, 12 of the 16 studies showed a positive result in favor of homeopathy.
While in Spain, the president of the National Association of Professionals and Freelancers of Natural Therapies (COFENAT), Roberto San Antonio-Abad, has celebrated this measure and has considered it a great step and an opportunity to recognize the Natural Therapies to world level. “We want to congratulate the Government of Switzerland for maintaining the inclusion of Natural Therapies in its health system. This new path after a thorough study by the country's administration will boost the work of professionals in this sector worldwide ”.
San Antonio-Abad, considers that "this measure recognizes the efficacy and importance of Natural Therapies within the Public Health of a country and the savings that this measure entails" and denounces that, meanwhile, in Spain "the regulation of Natural Therapies remains paralyzed despite the spectacular increase in demand ”.
However, San Antonio-Abad has denounced: “While in countries like Switzerland or Portugal Natural Therapies are being regulated and recognized as fundamental to complement Allopathic Medicine and save costs for national health systems, in Spain, the public authorities look the other way and do not want to regulate despite the growing demand of at least 300,000 daily users ”.
“The initiative of the Swiss Government can serve so that the Government of Mariano Rajoy begins to work in the regulation of the professionals of the Natural Therapies to give security to the citizens. Minister Montserrat: We know that it is complicated and we offer you our support to study the regulation. Look at yourself in the mirror of the surrounding countries and undertake the regulation of Natural Therapies ”, added the president of COFENAT.
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