Homeopathy has a lot of support in Switzerland. The country has a population of eight million at at the end of 2016 two-thirds of the population voted for its inclusion on the constitutional list of paid health services.
For the Swiss this means Homeopathic treatment and four other complementary therapies; Holistic medicine, neural therapy, herbal medicine, and Traditional Chinese medicine (including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, massage, exercise and nutrition) are now covered by basic compulsory health insurance. This excellent change started as a trial to prove the efficacy, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of Homeopathy by 2017. Since then the the Interior Minister, Didier Burkhlater has decided it is impossible to provide such proof for Homeopathy in it’s entirety. This lead to the ministries decision to continue to reimburse treatment costs for Homeopathy by compulsory health insurance as long as it has been administered by a certified medial doctor.
The government has decided to put the case before the international scientific community which has been welcomed by Homeopathy proponents who welcome the chance of a fair and balanced assessment. There has also been a increase in provisions to increase research and training of Homeopathy and collaborations between alternative and classical medicine.
The president of the Union of Associations of Swiss Physicians for Complementary Medicine, Hansueli Albonico mentioned practitioners were confident in the outcome of future studies based on “solid facts from existing scientific studies” of which he said they already have “2,000 clinical trials.”. Albonico also said “it makes sense for the next step to widen the terms of reference for medicine.”. The Swiss have the most complementary medicine practitioners per capita in the world and this largely because complementary medicine are covered by insurance packages.
Lesley Greig an Australian Homeopath who has worked in Switzerland as a Homeopath found their regulations were stricter than Australia when applying for Homeopathic status and when supplying Homeopathic remedies. She says there are more private health fund providers that include Homeopathy as a covered treatment. All in all Switzerland is a good reminder that medicine shouldn’t stop at classical treatment. Switzerland is very accepting of Homeopathy with lots of practitioners and Homeopathic remedies available in most pharmacies.