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Jens Spahn: Criticism of decision to pay for homeopathy


Jens Spahn wants to stick to the assumption of costs for homeopathic medicines. He gets support from the Greens, but there is also a lot of criticism.

The decision of Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, to want to change the assumption of costs for homeopathic medicines, has caused different reactions. Greens health politician Kordula Schulz-Asche welcomed the minister's "calm attitude" in the debate. "Complementary medicine is an important addition to conventional medicine," she said. The reimbursement about voluntary benefits of the funds is currently well regulated. Everyone benefited from a diverse healthcare system.

On the other hand criticism came from SPD and FDP. The designated SPD parliamentary group Bärbel Bas said that alternative healing methods for which there are no or only insufficient studies are, for a good reason, not part of the statutory health insurance system. If it provides the evidence, therapies such as acupuncture could become regular services. In homeopathy, however, this evidence would not exist. "There is therefore no basis for a reimbursement by the health insurance."

Also the FDP health politician Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus spoke against the fact that funds take over the costs of homeopathic medicines. Anyone who wants to have them should be able to continue acquiring them. "But on a self-pay basis," said Aschenberg-Dugnus. Finally, the same applies to dietary supplements, which accounted for more than two billion euros per year. Kassen also reimbursed homeopathic treatment costs in order to promote young and healthy insured persons. "But the goal must be that it is about the best quality care for the insured and not about marketing measures."

Relatively low expenses

Spahn had explained on Tuesday evening in Berlin at the Berlin salon of the editorial network Germany, that the health insurance pays for medical expenses of about 40 billion euros per year about 20 million for homeopathy. This can be discussed emotionally and can offend many people. Or one could ask oneself whether it is worth considering the whole order of magnitude. "I've decided to: It's as okay as it is," the minister said.

Homeopathy is not part of the regular service catalog. However, many health insurance companies reimburse treatment costs for naturopathic treatments because there is a demand for it and because this is a competitive instrument. In France, homoeopathic medicines will no longer be reimbursed from 2021 onwards. That had also fueled the discussion in Germany. The Kassenärztliche Federal Association had also spoken out against taking over. Anyone who wants to have such means, they should receive, "but please not at the expense of solidarity," had demanded about its boss, Andreas Gassen. Reason are insufficient scientific evidence of effectiveness.

Source: zeit

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