The Swiss interior ministry has yesterday announced its intention to elevate quackery to the same level as conventional medicine.
The 5 therapies were named as
- holistic medicine,
- herbal medicine,
- traditional Chinese medicine
No, this is not an early April fools joke! It might merely a sign that this country is in dire need of some critical thinking.
The 5 therapies will acquire the same status as conventional medicine by May 2017. After being rejected in 2005 by the authorities for lack of scientific proof of their efficacy, complementary and alternative medicines made a comeback in 2009 when two-thirds of Swiss backed their inclusion on the constitutional list of paid health services. As a result of the vote, these treatments are covered by basic compulsory insurance as part of six-year trial period from 2012-2017, during which their efficacy would be examined. The ministry has come to the conclusion that it is impossible to verify the efficacy of these therapies in their entirety. It has therefore opted to accept them on par with other medical disciplines. It plans to continue allowing reimbursements of treatment costs by compulsory health insurance, provided they are administered by certified medical professionals. However, as is the practice for conventional medicine, certain controversial practices under these complementary therapies will be subjected to further scrutiny. The ministry has initiated a consultation process – open until June 30, 2016 – on the proposed modification of the regulations.
There are a few interesting things here:
- What on earth is ‘holistic medicine’? It seems to be an umbrella term under which any type of quackery can be included.
- The lack of proof of efficacy – which since 20015 has only increased – is over-ruled by a popular vote.
- The ministry has come to the conclusion that it is impossible to verify the efficacy of these therapies in their entirety. What does that mean? From a scientific point of view, it means science cannot show that these treatment work, BECAUSE THEY DON’T! But I suspect they did not want to say that. What did they want to say then?
- holidays for citizens who feel ‘under the weather’,
- distance healing,
- botox therapy for wrinkled faces,
- hair transplants,
- pet ownership,
- free champagne for low blood pressure,
Sorry, I just realized that all of the above are already included in the category of HOLISTIC MEDICINE.