Intended for healthcare professionals


Switzerland is to fund complementary therapies for six years while effectiveness is evaluated

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 07 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d819
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

Complementary medicine in Switzerland will be covered by public health insurance from 2012 until the end of 2017 as part of a temporary scientific evaluation plan to determine whether state coverage should be made permanent.

The plan, outlined in January by the Swiss Department of Home Affairs and which will include oversight from an “internationally recognised institution,” comes after two thirds of Swiss voters in 2009 approved a referendum in support of state reimbursement of complementary medicine.

The five therapies included in the plan are anthroposophical medicine (which focuses on the body, life force, soul, and spirit and can include natural substances as well as conventional drugs), homoeopathy, neural therapy (in which local anaesthetic is injected near nerve centres), phytotherapy (or herbal …

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