Statutory health insurance: Broad criticism of Lauterbach’s deletion of homeopathy

Statutory health insurance: Broad criticism of Lauterbach’s deletion of homeopathy

According to reports about plans from the Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) to remove homeopathy as a health insurance benefit is met with criticism. German homeopathy doctors are resisting the plan. There is also resistance from the Bavarian and Baden-Württemberg state governments.

“A deletion of the voluntary health insurance benefit for homeopathy would limit the range of therapies available in medical care,” said the chairwoman of the German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors, Michaela Geiger. “A therapeutic monoculture would emerge in the practices – the patients would suffer,” said the Neckarsulm family doctor. “We see in practice every day that the variety of therapies makes medical sense.”

“Many people come specifically because of homeopathy”

homeopathy

is used by her and her colleagues to accompany conventional medicine, said Geiger. “Many patients come to our doctor’s offices specifically because of homeopathy, especially for chronic illnesses.” The statutory service is important because it is the only way patients can receive medical homeopathy on a chip card. “Additional insurance costs money, not all patients can afford it – but homeopathy is relevant to care,” said Geiger.

Lauterbach had announced in an internal ministry letter that Eliminate the financing of globules and other homeopathic treatments by statutory health insurance companies to want. So far, health insurance companies have been able to offer such funds as statutory benefits, i.e. in addition to the prescribed services. Some also offer additional insurance.

Lauterbach, who as a doctor relies heavily on scientific principles and research, said on Thursday: “Homeopathy is a service that does not provide any medical benefit based on the scientific facts.” The Greens and CDU had criticized the plan. The FDP in the Bundestag and the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians supported the initiative.

Desire for alternative approaches

The pharmacists’ association predicted an increase in costs. “The costs for homeopathic treatments as a health insurance benefit are homeopathic in the truest sense,” said Thomas Preis, head of the North Rhine Pharmacists’ Association Rhenish Post. Abolishing them could increase costs because alternative therapies would then involve other, reimbursed medicines that are more expensive. He fears that people with less money will be disadvantaged.

Bavaria’s Health Minister Judith Gerlach (CSU) described Lauterbach’s plan in the Frankenpost as “a political smokescreen”. Obviously, this discussion is intended to distract from the fact that the federal government is not making any progress with the necessary financing reform of statutory health insurance companies. Evidence-based modern medicine must be the benchmark for care. However, there is also a desire among the population for holistic alternative treatment approaches. It is important to know the limits of these methods – “and that should, as before, be left to the decision of the health insurance companies and the insured,” said Gerlach.

Baden-Württemberg’s Health Minister Manfred Lucha also accused Lauterbach of “fog candles to the detriment of homeopathy.” It is a “hypocritical evidence versus costs debate,” he told the Daily Mirror. Many people trusted homeopathy because they obviously had good experiences with it, the Green politician continued. Lucha also said that there is hardly anything that can be saved here. There would be ten million euros against a funding gap in the statutory funds of 3.2 billion euros.



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