CAM methods included in basic health insurance

Anthroposophic medicine, classic homoeopathy, neural therapy, phytotherapy and traditional Chinese medicine will be paid for via the compulsory health insurance in Switzerland from 2012. This decision was taken by Health Minister Didier Burkhalter on 13 January 2011.

The methods will be included for a limited period of six years. During this period the scientific evidence of their effectiveness, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of the five methods must be updated. The decision was taken on the basis of the provision in the Swiss Constitution for Complementary Medicine which was passed by 67 percent of Switzerland’s voters on 17 June 2009.

Swiss DaKoMed (Dachverband Komplementärmedizin, Umbrella Organisation for Complementary Medicine) is delighted with the decision. The conditions imposed, essentially updating the scientific basis for these disciplines, can be met, they say in a press release.

According to his statements the Health Minister, in collaboration with the complementary medicine sector, will continue to strive to implement the article in the Constitution in concrete terms:

- CAM is to be integrated into the training objectives of the health related study courses.

- The marketing authorisation of CAM and traditional remedies is to be simplified.

- Creation of national diplomas for natural health practitioners and therapists.

- Access to research funds, provided that the relevant applications meet the quality criteria of the funding agencies.

- Creation of institutes / professorships in CAM.

The Health Minister will set up a Steering Group which will be responsible for the implementation of these specific points and in particular will include representatives from the complementary medicine sector.

Further information:
Walter Stüdeli, Spokesperson of DaKoMed - Dachverband Komplementärmedizin,
+41 79 330 23 46 /

Text: Dachverband Komplementärmedizin and Jesper Odde Madsen