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The demand for the restrictions on homeopathy to be lifted was emphasised by a 40-18 vote at the assembly of the Medical Chamber on 17 December. The session involved a productive debate on the topic of homeopathy in general, as well as relating to its status as a medical practice within Slovenia.
During the session, Danica Rotar Pavlič, head of the chamber’s board for expert and ethical issues, revealed the results of a recently-conducted survey of 735 Slovenian doctors, of which there were some interesting points to note. Of those questioned, 55% were opposed to the current regulation, which has seen one doctor being stripped of a medical licence and one doctor receiving a warning since its implementation. In addition, more than 100 doctors in Slovenia are also discretely practising homeopathy alongside their day-to-day practice.
Meaningful discussion about changing the status of homeopathy in Slovenia has been restricted for some time, but was sparked by the German doctor Joachim Gross, who practises at a clinic in Koper, reporting himself to the chamber for dual practice midway through 2014. Homeopathy is utilised by over 10,000 doctors across 25 countries in the EU without legal impications, which highlights homeopathy’s role in the delivery of comprehensive healthcare.
On 27 October 2014 the Ministry of Health released the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Regulation. Homeopathy is regulated along with 15 other complementary treatments. These include chiropractic, osteopathy, acupuncture, phytotherapy, hypnosis, prolotherapy and mezotherapy.
Regarding the regulation and Turkish legislation, only medical doctors and dentists who have additional qualification in homeopathy can treat patients. Homeopathy is limited to use in clinics and hospitals by medical doctors in order to treat certain conditions which are defined in the regulation. Some of these specific conditions include headache, upper respiratory tract infections, sleep disorders, allergy, arthritis, weak immune system, amongst others.
The education of homeopathy can only be provided in universities which also have a treatment clinic for traditional and complementary medicine. Further details around education remain unclear. At the end of December there will be another official meeting in the health ministry with some authorities from the universities and NGO’s where a decision about the teaching hours and course duration will be made. Based on previous meetings it is likely that courses will consist of approximately 500 hours with a duration of around 2 years.
News on scientific research regarding homeopathic medicinal products: clinical (pragmatic) and pharmacological aspects from COLLOQUIUM, held on Saturday 18 October at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).
The report can be viewed here.
Today is EU Antibiotics awareness day and, to mark the occasion, EUROCAM has released its position paper concerning lessening the problem of antimicrobial resistance.
The document makes for essential reading and can be viewed here.
EUROCAM also released an accompanying press release, which can be viewed here.
The Czech Republic press secretary of the Ministry of Health released information detailing the position of homeopathy and complementary medicine within the country. Pertaining to recent discussions, law No. 372/2011 Sb., which relates to health services and the conditions under which they can be provided, remains unchanged. This means that only trained practitioners are able to make diagnoses and provide therapy.
Although the Ministry for Health of the Czech Republic does not perceive the evidence base for homeopathy to be strong enough yet, this does not prevent doctors from utilising this if it is desired and appropriate. There is no intention to alter these conditions, as homeopathic treatment is moving towards standardisation at European level. The Czech Republic will await recommendations to use unified rules for the whole of Europe before taking action.
The way in which illnesses are dealt with are considered a personal decision and every patient has the right to seek out practitioners who are able to provide alternative therapy from their local health department office. However, the Ministry of Health as the office of a Civil Service cannot guarantee citizens’ access to forms of treatment lacking the level of scientific evidence which is deemed necessary.