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Homeopathy, a popular therapy worldwide

Around the world, more than 300 million people in at least 70 countries use homeopathy either alone or in combination with other care to treat themselves [1]. The use of this therapy is growing, particularly in certain areas of the world such as Northern Europe, where life expectancy is one of the highest in the world.

 

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The worldwide growth of homeopathy

Throughout the world, complementary medicine, and predominantly homeopathy, is increasingly being considered a powerful ally to conventional medicine. It exists in almost every country in the world, and the demand for services in this area is on the rise.

Examples of countries that recognise this complementary medicine are India, China, Mexico, the United States, Brazil, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Great Britain.

Homeopathy is now considered a branch of medicine and the pharmaceutical industry in its own right, especially in northern European countries like Sweden, Norway and Finland. These states, whose health systems are recognised for their quality, have made homeopathy an integral part of the care pathway.

The population also considers homeopathy to be an easy-access and affordable practice [2]. This makes it particularly attractive as healthcare costs have soared over the past few years. Homeopathy also appears to be a way of dealing with the inevitable occurrence of chronic non-communicable diseases, particularly in winter.

It should also be noted that homeopathy is deeply rooted in the culture and history of European countries, since its invention in 1796 by German doctor Samuel Hahnemann. It has proven itself for more than two centuries, inspiring the public’s confidence.

Northern European countries like Sweden, Norway and Finland, whose health systems are recognised for their quality, have made homeopathy an integral part of the care pathway.

A level of integration that varies from country to country

In countries where it is well positioned within the care pathway, homeopathy is treated differently in terms of its management and coverage by the health insurance system.

In Finland, when homeopathy is practised by an allopathic doctor, it can be covered by the social insurance system.

In Germany, the birthplace of homeopathy, this treatment is still very popular with patients and is recognised by the authorities. Two types of therapists are allowed to practice the discipline: homeopaths with degree qualifications and homeopathic doctors.

In 2019, German Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) definitively voted in favour of the reimbursement of homeopathic medicines by insurance schemes. Homeopathic care is reimbursed by both the German public and private health system, and practitioners also benefit from public and private funding for homeopathic doctors and exclusively private funding for non-doctor homeopaths (Heilpraktiker).

Switzerland, the first country in Europe to integrate homeopathy into the healthcare system, included this therapy in its Constitution in 2009. It is also one of the countries where homeopathy is fully covered by health insurance.

Click here to find out more about the national health policy in Switzerland.

In 2019, German Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) definitively voted in favour of the reimbursement of homeopathic medicines by insurance schemes.

India, the homeland of homeopathy!

India, known as the “land of homeopathy”, has more than 217,000 homeopathic doctors according to the Homeopaths Without Borders association. Recognised and promoted by the government, homeopathy is naturally prescribed there and represents a branch of medicine in its own right[3].

Indian homeopaths work in more than 230 homeopathic hospitals and 6,000 clinics[4]. Delhi, which had 28 homeopathic clinics in 1978, now has 78[5].

Homeopathy is also the second officially recognised medicine by the Indian State, which has specifically created a ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy, the six traditional medicine systems recognised in this country. Lastly, homeopathy is now taught in over 500 higher education institutions (high schools) in India, and homeopathic services are reimbursed by the national health service.

[1] Source: Homeopathy White Paper:  https://www.boiron.fr/sites/boironfr/files/content/files/livre-blanc-quelle-place-pour-l-homeopathie-dans-l-offre-de-soins.pdf

 

[2] WHO Report, WHO Strategy for Traditional Medicine 2014-2023 https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/95009/9789242506099_fre.pdf?sequence=1

 

[3] https://www.la-croix.com/Sciences-et-ethique/Sciences-et-ethique/Lhomeopathie-situation-contrastee-niveau-international-2018-04-10-1200930450

 

[4] Source: Homeopaths Without Borders, Letter 33-2011: https://hsf-france.com/la-lettre-d-hsf-pour-tout-savoir/archives/lettre-33-decembre-2011/Situation-de-l-homeopathie-en-Inde

 

[5] https://www.business-standard.com/article/beyond-business/savvy-marketing-sees-surge-in-alternative-therapies-109063000153_1.html