After the Bundestag election: What are the prospects for homeopathy?
Germany has voted and the parties are looking for a possible government coalition. One thing is certain: the FDP will no longer be represented in the new Bundestag, the Ministry of Health under Daniel Bahr is history. But who will take over this ministry, how will the gaps between citizen insurance and the existing system be bridged and what perspective does homeopathy have in the newly composed German Bundestag?
Plan A: Grand coalition If you look back in time to the last black-red coalition from 2005 to 2009, the SPD occupied the health department with Ulla Schmidt. So is the new health minister named Karl Lauterbach? The health economist plays a key role in the SPD concept of citizens' insurance and in the summer of 2010 sparked an intensive debate about the benefits and costs of homeopathy. "You should simply prohibit the health insurance companies from paying for homeopathy," Lauterbach told SPIEGEL in his function as SPD chairman in the health committee of the Bundestag. With this advance in the summer slump, Lauterbach wanted the health system
lead out of the financial misery. He was calculated by the German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors (DZVhÄ) that the expenses for medical homeopathy compared to the total costs of the system would be in the per mil range. The economist stuck to his stance, but it was not supported by the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag. "Mr. Lauterbach represents an individual opinion," said Carola Reimann, SPD, chair of the Bundestag health committee.
Election statements by the SPD and CDU parliamentary group Before the election, the parliamentary groups gave interviews to the DZVhÄ. If the Social Democrats become junior partners of a large coalition, the SPD parliamentary group will support more research in the field of homeopathy, said Hilde Mattheis, "this should also be funded by public funds". Mattheis also wants to work for the selective contracts in the new legislative period, they "are an instrument for the competition between health insurance companies".
Jens Spahn, CDU / CSU parliamentary group, said in the DZVhÄ interview that the CDU "has always been committed to the free choice of doctor and the freedom of therapy for doctors", "and will continue to do so". Spahn emphasized that his faction has always attached great importance to natural remedies and naturopathic medicine and ensures that "the particular therapeutic directions are not completely excluded from the list of benefits provided by statutory health insurance."
Plan B: Black-Green Coalition This coalition is politically unrealistic, but arithmetically possible. The Greens have been advocating for many years that "complementary medicine (including homeopathy) is perceived unideologically with its potential," said Biggi Bender in an interview. "A strict rejection of homeopathy is just as unhelpful as claims (also coming from complementary medicine) that this is based on a systematic evaluation due to its individual approach. That is why we are committed to expanding public research on complementary medicine, as it is often perceived as helpful by chronically ill patients, for whom conventional medicine has not helped, ”said Bender. Biggi Bender did not make it into parliament. As a direct candidate in the Stuttgart II constituency, she was unsuccessful and could not secure a seat in the German Bundestag via the Baden-Württemberg state list. All election interviews can be found at: www.dzvhae-homoeopathie-blog.de (Association of Homeopathic Doctors)
Image: Ulrich Schmitz / pixelio.de