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Austria: Homeopathic doctors call homeopathy as a benefit
Homeopathic doctors in Austria demand that the health insurance companies cover the costs for medical homeopathy. The Medical Association for Classic Homeopathy (ÄKH) wants to enforce its own tariff position of the health insurance companies. In this way, many more patients could use medical homeopathy for themselves. So far, only the Upper Austrian regional health insurance fund (OÖGKK) has covered a small part of the doctor's fee for homeopathic treatments and the medical costs. However, the health insurance companies do not decide on the reimbursement, for this the medical association would have to set up a billing number that covers medical homeopathy.
The Austrian Society for Homeopathic Medicine (ÖGHM), the largest association of homeopathic doctors in Austria, had recently attempted five years ago to implement medical homeopathy as a health insurance benefit: "We see only a small probability that homeopathy will be adopted in the future," said Dr . Gloria Kozel, President of the ÖGHM.
The ÄKH wants a regulation based on the Swiss model: From 2012, medical homeopathy will once again be part of the compulsory health insurance benefits in Switzerland. Other alternative healing methods such as anthroposophic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, phytotherapy and neural therapy are also reimbursed there. The basis for this development was a previous referendum in favor of alternative healing methods. (pm)