MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

The Austrian Health Insurance Fund is the largest social health insurance in Austria. Currently, about 82 percent of the people living in our country are insured with the ÖGK – that is 7.2 million insured persons. The ÖGK was created on 01.01.2020 through the merger of the nine former regional health insurance funds.

I was alerted to the following announcement by the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (my translation):

The Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK) ensures comprehensive medical care. However, medical services that do not treat an illness or contribute to preventive health care have to be paid for by the insured persons themselves

In the following cases, you have to pay for the services yourself, even if you use a panel doctor (Vertrauensarzt):

  • Sports or driving licence examinations
  • Exemptions from gym classes
  • Vaccinations (if they are not medical treatment)
  • Second medical opinions
  • Requests for nursing leave
  • Employment examinations on commencement of employment
  • Treatments for which there is no scientific medical evidence of effectiveness (e.g. homeopathy)
  • Purely cosmetic treatments
  • Examinations for the clarification of claims for disability, occupational incapacity, incapacity to work.

The term HOMEOPATHY was not highlighted in the original. As it is, however, of particular interest to the discussions on this blog, I took the liberty of doing so.

The writing for homeopathy had been on the wall for some time in Austria- to be exact, since 1819!

This is when his majesty, the emperor Franz 2nd, issued the above decree strictly forbidding Hahnemann’s method.

My translation:

Prohibition of Hahnemann’s healing method
His Majesty, by the highest resolution of October 13, 1819, decreed: Doctor Hahnemann’s homeopathic method of treatment is to be generally and strictly prohibited.
Court Chancellery Decree of 21 October 1819, to all State Offices

9 Responses to Homeopathy: no longer reimbursed in Austria

  • [the image above doesn’t show]

    OK, homeopathy and other fairytale medicine is no longer reimbursed, which is a step forward – no doubt prompted by the desire to cut healthcare costs.

    Yet in most countries, homeopathic products may still be legally sold as ‘medicines’, even if they are not tested for efficacy or even safety. This preferential treatment of homeopathic products is rather strange.

    I therefore propose the following solution: simply treat homeopathic products like real medicines. This would achieve two goals:
    – Homeopaths should be happy about it, as it would mean that their system of medicine is finally treated on equal footing with real medicine, and
    – Homeopathic products can only be prescribed and sold if their efficacy and safety are proven in a scientific manner, just like other medicines.

    All homeopaths have to do to stay in business is to provide the required evidence of efficacy, which should be a mere formality given how most homeopaths claim that they “see it work every day”.

    • I think that’s a very interesting and worthy suggestion!

      In the event of its implementation, I predict a very great deal of howling and squawking in homeopathic quarters, rather than satisfied eagerness…..

    • I know it’s stating the obvious/preaching to the choir:

      – Homeopaths should be happy about it, as it would mean that their system of medicine is finally treated on equal footing with real medicine, and

      Homeopaths crave the legitimacy.

      – Homeopathic products can only be prescribed and sold if their efficacy and safety are proven in a scientific manner, just like other medicines.

      They just aren’t willing to run the gauntlet to earn it.

      This is why I strongly encourage Humpty, Willy Loman, et al to declare themselves a formal religion, as society will bend over backwards to allow those and completely avoid the problem of trying to prove themselves correct by doing their damndest to prove themselves wrong. The other option is to make like the Khmer Rouge and drag all the real doctors out to the paddy fields for execution, after which they can play doctor dressup to their little hearts’ content.

      I mean, I can understand the not-completely-Palmerite chiros demanding to be taken seriously, as a physical intervention is a physical intervention, even if it is ultimately built on the “knowledge” of a ghost-talking woo-woo and grifter. But homeopathy is pure 100% belief all the way down, up there with flat Earthism in its fundamental inability to accept that the universe tells them they’re wrong. I suspect the psychology of the two groups is very similar too, which is why I don’t think it will be a studied expert on AltMed like Prof Ernst who ends it (much as he’s done the prerequisites) but an expert on the human condition (psychologist) and what it is that makes so many our species such stubborn egotistical jackasses. ’Cos you can dissect AltMed for eternity and it will never feel a thing; but take apart the people who are the heart of it, and hold up all their shameful embarrassing bits for all the world to see, and see how long the casuals and fence sitters remain…

  • It’s OK, Mr. D. Ullman will hurry along to the Austrian government to explain about the laboratory that can distinguish between homeopathic water and other water, a distinction which (he has carefully explained) “only liars or fools” doubt is possible. Once he and the laboratory have got a Nobel prize for this startling feat, the government of Austria will surely recant their infidelity.

  • Vaccinations?

  • All the necessary vaccinations for babies and children are free of charge.

    For adults some vaccinations (eg measles) are free as well.
    Boosters such as for FSME (spread mainly by ticks) often have only a small co-pay.
    Influenza vaccinations are free for children, only a small fee for adults and sometimes employers offer such vaccinations for free (eg for civil servants).

    But yellow fever etc are not included.

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