I normally don’t like to use stupid expressions like WOW – but in this particular event, it might be well-suited:

It has just been reported that the German Medical Association wants homeopathy to be removed from the GOÄ (the official schedule of doctors’ fees in Germany). The decision was made on Friday afternoon in Mainz after a lengthy debate, with 116 votes in favour and 97 against. The decision is also linked to the Medical Council’s demand to “end the legal assessment of homeopathic remedies as medicinal products” and the pharmacy obligation. The motion called on legislators to take measures to ensure “that homeopathy can neither be billed as a statutory health insurance benefit nor mentioned as an entity with special status in the German Medical Fee Schedule”.

The delegates’ arguments varied:

  • Some doctors argued against the motion frearing that this ban could then be extended further to other treatments.
  • Delegates Dr Stefan Schröter from North Rhine and Dr Joachim Suder from Baden-Württemberg cautioned of a professional ban that could threaten doctors.
  • Dr Klaus Thierse from Berlin did not accept this. No-one is forbidding “sprinkling lemon juice or sugar on wounds”, he said, anyone can do as they please. “But we don’t have to do it any more”, and the special status of the homeopathic initial anamnesis with a fee of 120.65 euros at 2.3 times the rate could not be justified any further. In contrast, GOÄ No. 34 for a medical consultation in the case of a lasting life-changing or life-threatening illness only brings in 40.22 euros for 2.3 times the rate, for 20 minutes.
  • Angela Schütze-Buchholz from Lower Saxony in turn appealed to the delegates: “Let’s not point fingers at each other, but treat each other with respect.” She criticised the envy that compassion-oriented medicine is rewarded in homeopathy.
  • Schütze-Buchholz warned of where it would lead if ideology dominated actions too much.
  • Finally, Dr Jürgen de Laporte from Baden-Württemberg warned of supply problems as a consequence of a decision against homeopathy and “humbly” appealed to the delegates to reject the motion.

The motion for a second reading of the ban was also rejected.


What exactly does it mean?

Here a more understandable version of what has just happened:

  • The 128th German ‘Aerztetag’ (Medical Assembly) states that the use of homoeopathy in diagnostics and therapy does not constitute rational medicine.
  • Legislators are urged to take measures to ban homoeopathy as a health insurance benefit and to abolish the special status it enjoys in Germany.
  • The legal assessment of homoeopathic remedies as medicinal products and the pharmacy obligation should be ended.

And what do the German homeopaths say to this?

Predictably, they are upset (to put it mildly):

“Now a motion is being submitted here that seeks to ban part of our colleagues’ medical field of activity,” said Dr Michaela Geiger, 1st Chair of the DZVhÄ (the German Association of Homeopathic Doctors). “This motion does not do justice to our understanding of democracy, the fundamental right to professional freedom, or our commitment to pluralism and tolerance within the medical profession! The question is whether this motion should be scrutinised by lawyers for constitutionality.”

The Federal Association of Patients for Homeopathy (BPH) also criticised the resolution. According to them, the motion is a direct appeal to politicians to ban homeopathy from the healthcare system. “Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach will be pleased to have such a strong ally.”


Personally, I have always known that, in any battle between scientific evidence and even the most generously funded lobby work of interested parties, the former will win. It can (and certainly did) take plenty of time, but eventually the evidence must be victorious.


23 Responses to WOW! The German Medical Association bans homeopathy

  • The 116 – 97 vote isn’t very encouraging. Over 40% of the doctors are still in favour of rank quackery.

    • “Over 40% of the doctors are still in favour of rank quackery.” That’s not true. Many doctors just don’t want to fight against their patients who somehow have hopes in “natural” medicine or just want to “have some treatment”, or doctors think placebo can help. Homeopathic remedies are cheap, so many think this ban to just make a statement is not worth the trouble. Doctors who really believe in homeopathy are a minority even in Germany.

    • I doubt what happened to the scientific temper of that 40%. Basic school level hold in science can tell you that homeo is quackery in suit.

    • This is very unfortunate to see the heartbroken news that German medical association bans homoeopathy. If homoeopathy medicine is not working on human body then result will be the same in rest of the world. But picture is soo different in INDIA. Huge population served through this noble profession in India.
      I shall requesting to the highest authority of German medical association to reconsider this drastic decision.
      Thanking you.

      • I would argue that the Indian population is poorly served by homeopathy and that India should follow the German example asap.

      • @Rajib Kumar

        Huge population served through this noble profession

        No. A huge population is fooled through this useless quackery in India – only promoted because it’s way cheaper than real doctors and real medicine.

        I shall request the highest authority in India to reconsider this state-endorsed deceit.

  • Would be nice if the French medical association (ordre de médecins) would make a similar statement. Their apathy is disappointing – in fact worse than apathy, they have disciplined doctors who criticise homeopathy.

  • That’s right on a fundamentalistic base, but doctors are just human and want to please their customers as everybody else. That’s not meant as an excuse but as an explanation. I saw a case where a mother of a child with a fever complained that her doctor here in Germany did not prescribe antibiotics as doctors in Ukraine always do, and after consulting her whole Telegram bubble she hammered that doctor until she got it. This is how it works with homeopathy also but with less damage. Homeopathy does nothing and costs nearly nothing, and doctors normally do not prescribe it instead of useful treatments, but on top of them. Radical homeopaths exist but are a minority.

    So my take would be not to be stubborn and fundamentalistic but let these doctors help their patients, even with placebo or hocus pocus. You cannot change superstition easily and if you try you drive them deeper into the arms of quacks.

    • Integrity is the quality of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or earnestness of one’s actions. Integrity can stand in opposition to hypocrisy. It regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that people who hold apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter those values.

      … Professional integrity thus defines the professional who consistently and willingly practices within the guidelines of the mission of a chosen profession under the obligation of a Code of Ethics.
      — Keith Witherspoon

      Integrity is the act of behaving honorably, even when no one is watching. People with integrity follow moral and ethical principles in all aspects of life. Integrity also extends to professional areas of work such as decision-making, interacting with colleagues and serving customers or clients. When employees have integrity, their managers can trust their team is working diligently.
      — Indeed Editorial Team (2023)

    • This comment actually terrifies me.
      How can it possibly be “fundamentalistic” to require that homeopathy (which has no effect beyond placebo) be removed from the schedule of doctors fees? Would you say its “fundamentalistic” to require that doctors be properly trained and licensed? Or that a doctor who falls short of the professional requirements is prevented from practicing?

      Doctors occupy an important and privileged position in society – and we, the public (or if you prefer their customers), have the right to expect that doctors are held to the highest standards. Yes doctors are human, and it’s precisely because of that that we want strong regulation. That way an ignorant and weak minded doctor who might otherwise be tempted to prescribe homeopathy or another useless remedy will have to think twice about doing so.

      As for your example of a doctor being “hammered” into prescribing unwarranted antibiotics – well; one day, you or me might be suffering from an antibiotic resistant infection and we might think then that doctors have a duty of care to society as a whole, and not just trying to please the single customer in front of them at that moment.

      • I didn’t call the change of the GOÄ as “fundamentalistic” but the furor against doctors who prescribe homeopathy against better knowledge. Moral and integrity have more than one dimension which googled simple snippets of canonical moralism might not be able to describe.

        I am not a fan of all this “alternative medicine”, not at all. If I meet somebody who talks in favor of that I go into the discussion with them, even if the chances to convince a believer are low. But I try to avoid canceling behavior because that leads into nowhere.

        • As discussed previously on Edzard’s blog…

          A chiropractor wrote:

          If a non-mainstream approach is used together with conventional medicine, it’s considered “complementary.”

          If a non-mainstream approach is used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered “alternative.”

          To which I replied:

          If homeopathically reinforced concrete is used together with steel‑reinforced concrete, it’s considered “complementary”.

          If homeopathically reinforced concrete is used in place of steel‑reinforced concrete, it’s considered “alternative”.

  • I am still waiting for DUlman’s indignant comments. Or Heinrich Hümmer. Do they still have to recover from the shock?

  • Homoeopathy system of medicine is nearing 200 yrs of its existence, it’s becoming stronger
    day by day , such comments are bound to be there periodically.
    We need to be united on the basis of ORGANON OF MEDICINE.

  • I was extremely short of breath and constantly tired due to my Emphysema. I was advised to take Montair plus one tablet every night which would give me temporary relief and help my sleep. But I didn’t want to depend on tablet fully which only offers relief not cure. I slowly started Ayurveda, and was introduced to Natural Herbs Centre and their COPD Ayurveda Programme, my symptoms gradually diminished including my shortness of breath, wheezing and fatigue. Reach them at natural herbs centre. com. I know I’ll get negative comments but I’m sharing this perhaps someone is also looking at genuine alternative treatment. I can vouch for this Ayurvedic treatments but you still need to decide what works best for you. Sending prayers

    • “you still need to decide what works best for you”

      I disagree: in medicine, we have somethin called EVIDENCE.
      As discussed a thousand time here, experience is unreliable

  • It’s quite a significant development that the German Medical Association has decided to push for the removal of homeopathy from the official schedule of doctors’ fees. This decision, made after a lengthy debate, reflects a growing skepticism within the medical community regarding the scientific basis of homeopathy.

    The arguments presented by the delegates against the motion highlight various concerns, including the fear of extending the ban to other treatments, potential professional repercussions for doctors practicing homeopathy, and issues related to supply problems if homeopathy is phased out.

    On the other hand, proponents of the motion emphasize the need to align medical practices with evidence-based approaches and rational medicine. They argue that the special status and billing privileges afforded to homeopathy are unjustified and not in line with the principles of modern healthcare.

    The response from homeopathic practitioners and patient advocacy groups is understandably defensive, with concerns raised about threats to professional freedom, democracy, and the rights of patients to choose alternative treatments.

    Ultimately, this decision underscores the ongoing debate within the medical community about the role of homeopathy in modern healthcare. It also highlights the importance of evidence-based medicine and the need for critical evaluation of medical practices to ensure the highest standards of patient care.

  • There is a German phrase for situations like these…

    “Es geschehen noch Zeichen und Wunder”

    which is far too ironic, not to use it on this occasion.

  • R we fools as Homoeopaths. We need justice and support. First stop all the Homoeopathic colleges all over the world and give us certain degree instead as it is our bread and butter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new blog posts by email.

Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted but you must tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”

The most recent comments from all posts can be seen here.