For homeopathics, basic substances such as minerals, plants, but also animal components are extremely diluted
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In the future, the Bavarian State Medical Association will no longer offer further training courses in which doctors can acquire the additional qualification in homeopathy.
The members agreed on this last weekend.
Only those who have acquired the title before the end of a transition period can continue to wear it.
According to media reports, the vast majority of the delegates present voted against keeping homeopathy in the state medical association's further training regulations.
"A landslide victory for evidence and patient safety," commented ENT doctor and homeopathy critic Christian Lübbers on the decision on Twitter.
Homeopathy was invented by the German doctor Samuel Hahnemann at the end of the 18th century.
It is based on the idea that "like with like" should be treated.
During the production of the means, basic substances such as minerals, plants, but also animal components are extremely diluted.
An effect that goes beyond the placebo effect has not yet been proven.
Both sides argue with patient safety
The Bavarian medical profession had been discussing a possible abolition of homeopathy for a long time.
In the run-up to the vote, a pro and a contra article were published in the Bayerisches Ärzteblatt.
The establishment in the medical profession, for example through further training, is a major reason for the widespread misconception that homeopathy is a real, proven and reliable therapy option, wrote Lübbert in his part in which he campaigned for its abolition.
»Rather, it is important to counteract this assumption through a critical positioning of the medical profession.
Patient safety is achieved above all when homeopathic therapies are not offered at all - no matter where. "
Proponents of homeopathy, on the other hand, also argue with patient safety, but from a different perspective.
Precisely because homeopathy is so popular, it is important that it is used by a doctor with the appropriate skills, who can carefully weigh up the wishes of the patient, the possibilities of the method and medically justified conventional therapies, wrote Ulf Riker, chairman of the regional association Bavaria of the German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors in his contribution.
"This can only be done with the protection of medical expertise, but not in the context of alternative 'healers'."
On Bayerischer Rundfunk, Riker stated that the vote of the Doctors' Day was to be respected as a formally democratic decision.
At the same time, however, he announced that he would examine legal steps "very seriously".
Should health insurers pay for homeopathy?
Two years ago, Bremen was the first state medical association in Germany to decide to abolish recognized advanced training courses and examinations on the subject of homeopathy.
For the treatment method, there was no "scientific evidence of its effectiveness," it said in the decision.
"We found it a bit silly to offer structured advanced training, including a curriculum and exams, for procedures and means whose effects are scientifically incomprehensible," says Heidrun lattice, president of the Bremen Medical Association, at the time for the "Weser-Kurier".
It is also controversial whether health insurances should cover the costs of homeopathy.
Homeopathy is not part of the catalog of services provided by statutory health insurances.
However, many insured persons reimburse part of the costs as a voluntary service because there is a demand.
This is also a competitive tool.
Among other things, SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach has repeatedly called for health insurances to be banned from paying for the costs of homeopathy.
Voluntary health insurance benefits should also make economic and medical sense, argued Lauterbach in 2019. "In the interests of common sense, education and patient protection, it is also wrong in Germany for health insurers to pay homeopathy for marketing reasons."
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), on the other hand, also declared in 2019 that the health insurance companies did not want to affect the assumption of costs for homeopathic medicines.