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Here you can find news about developments in Europe that are important for homeopathy, news from the European homeopathic community and from the ECH itself

The whole news archive is available below

Response by the Homeopathy Research Institute to Australian NHMRC

Response to the report: ‘Effectiveness of Homeopathy for Clinical Conditions: Evaluation of the Evidence’.

The Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI) recently released its response to Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) 'Overview Report' on the evidence base for homeopathy. The full text is available here.

Click here for the HRI submission to public consultation for the NHMRC draft Information Paper on homeopathy.

 

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New ECHAMP report confirms ECH concerns about the availability of homeopathic medininal products

A new report from the European Coalition on Homeopathic and Anthroposophic Medicinal Products (ECHAMP), including data from two independent surveys, provides an up-to-date and objective analysis of the status and deficits concerning the availability of homeopathic and anthroposophic medicinal products in the EU. This report confirms the concerns raised by the ECH and concludes that there is significant and high demand for homeopathic and anthroposophic medicinal products in at least two thirds of EU Member States.

Download the summary report here.

More information is available on the ECHAMP website at www.echamp.eu/publications/special-reports/availability-report.

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CAM regulation in Portugal

On 24 July the Portuguese Parliament adopted a bill regulating 7 non-conventional (also called complementary) therapies including homeopathy, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, naturopathy, herbal medicine, osteopathy and chiropractics. The law came into force on 2 September (Lei No. 71/2013) and in fact revived the 10-year old Law 45/2003 that was never implemented.

The new law stipulates that these CAM modalities can only be practised by professionals with higher education qualifications and a publicly registered professional license.

Access to the registers of these CAM professions will depend on the ownership of a degree in one of the therapies, obtained following an education consistent with the requirements set by members of the Government responsible for health and higher education. Requirements for the practice of these modalities should follow the WHO guidelines and those issued by the Portuguese Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education and the Directorate-General of Health.

The exercise of the professions is permitted only to holders of a professional license issued by the Central Administration of the Health System. A register will allow identification of the health professionals holding the adequate qualifications. The use of professional titles is only permitted to holders of such a license.

The law also stipulates that health professionals keep a patient record, provide accurate and understandable information about the prognosis and treatment duration, verify the patient’s consent, do not falsely claim that the therapies can cure illnesses, dysfunction or malformations, and have a liability insurance.

The Minister of Health has established the Advisory Council for Non-conventional therapies that will specify requirements related to exercise, training and regulation of the professions. The Council will comprise representatives of the Central Administration of the Health System, the Directorate-General of Health, the Ministry responsible for higher education, the Ministry responsible for labour, the individual professions (two from each profession, nominated by the most representative professional organisations), the Medical Council, the Order of Pharmacists, Faculty members nominated by educational institutes, and patients’ organisations.

There is a transitional provision for health professionals currently practising a particular CAM modality. To qualify for a license, these health professionals are to submit proof as to their registration in a social security scheme and their level of education and training. Depending on the quality of the submitted data, the Central Administration of the Health System is to decide on the issuance of a license, an interim license or no license at all.

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Regularisation of homeopathic medicine in Belgium

On 12 July 2013, the Belgian Council of Ministers decided that homeopathy is a medical act. Only medical doctors, dentists and midwives are entitled to practise homeopathy, dentists and midwives only within their competence.

copy_of_onkelinx.jpgThe Council of Ministers based their approval on the official recommendation given by the Belgian Minister of Public Health, Ms Laurette Onkelinx – formulated after 21 meetings of the Unio Homeopathica Belgica representatives and university professors with Health Ministry representatives. With this decision, the Colla law on non-conventional practices (named after Minister Colla), adopted by the Belgian Parliament in 1999, can finally be fully implemented after 14 years of struggle. This law only regulates human medicine. The practice of homeopathy by veterinary doctors will be discussed in a separate commission.

The Royal Decree is not an official recognition of homeopathy but lays down the requirements for registration of homeopathic doctors. These requirements are the following:
- As for conventional medicine, doctors must comply with all standards of accreditation including the obligation to participate in a duty doctor service on weekends and to have Continuing Medical Education (minimum of 20 credit points a year)
- As for homeopathic medicine, doctors must have received homeopathic education at a teaching centre in accordance with the ECH / LMHI Medical Education Standards and must have Continuing Education in homeopathy (minimum 10 credit points a year).

The registration is essential with regard to the safety of the patients.

The national teaching centres will have to comply with the CEN quality standards which are to be formulated in the next few years. Transitional provisions will be developed for doctors practising homeopathy who do not comply with the above-mentioned requirements as well as for practitioners who do not have a medical, dentistry or midwifery diploma.

As soon as the Royal Decree will have been published, non-medically qualified practitioners can no longer start an education in homeopathic medicine and the practice of homeopathy by non-medical qualified practitioners will finally expire in Belgium.

 

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EU Commission taking CAM more seriously

A recent meeting in the European Parliament, a joint initiative of the CAM Interest Group – MEPs for CAM and the MAC Interest Group – MEPs Against Cancer, was aimed at presenting CAM as an investment in health.

"Patient empowerment is on the increase. It progressively serves to put patients in the driver's seat – taking charge and control of their own health. Patients often know what treatment works for them, and which healthcare is efficient for their condition. This can include the use of complementary medicine." This statement, given by EU Commissioner Tonio Borg at a recent meeting in the European Parliament, is a clear sign that the EU Commission is taking CAM more seriously.

The conference heard a presentations from range of expert providers and researchers on the growing popularity of CAM with citizens and patients, what characterizes the holistic approach of CAM to patient care, various aspects of the current provision of CAM in the EU and the potential benefits of its integration into health systems.

Other speakers presented recent studies on the economics of CAM. These studies seem to support the proposition that its widespread use and integration could potentially result on cost-savings for health systems.

In their closing remarks Mr Peterle and Ms Pietikäinen, members of the European Parliament, called for the EU to invest more in researching the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of CAM and to take action to resolve the highly confused and inhibiting regulatory situation that currently exists for products, providers and patients.

More information about this conference including presentations of the speakers can be found here.

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