The UK National Health Service (NHS) has once again expressed serious concerns about homeopathy. The director Simon Stevens described the treatment approach in a letter to the parastatal health professional standard committee PSA as "fundamentally flawed," as the "Guardian" reports.
Already in 2017, the NHS urged British doctors not to prescribe globules anymore. Its effect is "at best that of a placebo" and her prescription is an "abuse of NHS money," Stevens said. A court upheld this claim by rejecting a lawsuit from the British Society of Homeopaths.
In the United Kingdom, the PSA (Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care), as an independent body, oversees the nine statutory bodies that regulate health workers in the UK - these are roughly comparable to the German medical associations. Unless occupations are regulated by law, the PSA sets standards and accredits those who comply with these rules. This should ensure that people in medical professions meet uniform criteria, are properly trained and qualified.
Stevens, together with NHS Medical Director Stephen Powis, said the accreditation of the homeopathic society gives the false impression that their procedures are clinically and scientifically proven.
"Treatment that does not work at best"
Although homeopaths would meet some of the PSA standards, their practice is no substitute for clinically proven medical treatments. According to Steven's patients, this can also lead them to buy themselves globules in pharmacies: "Anything that gives credible mark to homeopathy can lead more people to spend their hard-earned money on treatment, at best nothing works and in the worst case can be dangerous, "it said in the letter.
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In April 2019, it was announced that the NHS is still spending around £ 55,000 (about € 63,650) a year on homeopathic medicines. Five years ago, it was still about 100,000 pounds. Despite falling numbers, experts called for "blacklisting" of granules so that they can no longer be funded by public funds.
The NHS is the state health system of the United Kingdom. Unlike many other countries, it is funded by general taxation and provides medical care to anyone living in the UK.
European countries discuss homeopathy
Homeopathy is also controversial in other European countries. The French Ministry of Health, for example, had canceled the cash refund for globules in July. In Germany, there is much debate as to whether or not health insurance funds should pay for globules, among other things.
Homeopathy does not belong to the service catalog of the legal health insurance. However, many health insurances reimburse their insured homeopathic treatment costs as a voluntary benefit because there is a demand. This is also an instrument in competition.
The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians and the SPD parliamentary group vice-president Karl Lauterbach have already advocated that statutory health insurance companies should refuse the reimbursement of homeopathic remedies. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), on the other hand, does not want to affect the assumption of costs by the health insurance funds.
The Bremen Chamber of Physicians had recently abolished as the first chamber of state doctors in Germany further education on homeopathy. The reason given was that a structured further education for procedures whose effect was scientifically incomprehensible was silly.