How to establish a Homoeopathic practice in European countries

Dr Mansoor Ali
Professor, Govt Homoeopathy Medical College Calicut, India

Homeopathy is practised in all most all European countries. The regulatory status in Europe varies from country to country. Medical doctors with additional qualifications in homeopathy are able to practise in all countries.

Many European countries for practising any system of medicine may require the basic qualification as of MBBS – they are often called Medical doctor. But many European countries allow Graduates and Postgraduates in Homoeopathy to practice

Homeopathy is practiced in  39 countries

It is legal to practice as a professional homeopath in 25 out of 39 countries: Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Remaining 14 countries it is only legal to practice if you are a medical doctor.

Regulation by national law
Homeopathic medicine as a distinct system of medicine is recognised by law in Belgium (1999), Bulgaria (2005), Germany (1998), Hungary (1997), Latvia (1997), Portugal (2003), Romania (1981), Slovenia (2007) and the United Kingdom (1950).

The laws in Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Romania and Slovenia explicitly allow the practice of homeopathic medicine to medical doctors only.

In Belgium and Portugal the law does not exclude non-medical practitioners, but has not yet been implemented.

In Slovenia, although the law permits medical doctors to practise homeopathic medicine, the medical association withdraws doctors’ licenses if they actually practise it.

In Latvia the medical council/chamber has recognised homeopathic medicine as a medical specialty. 

The national medical associations in France and Italy have recognised homeopathic medicine as a distinctive system of medicine and called on the government to provide the necessary legislation.

in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Switzerland – the government has delegated the tasks of authorisation, registration and supervision of medical practitioners to the national medical associations

Homeopathy universities
Familiarisation courses about homeopathic medicine are provided in the medical undergraduate curriculum as a part of a course on Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Hungary (one university), Italy and the Netherlands; as a separate subject in Bulgaria, Germany and Romania. These familiarisation courses are optional for medical students in Germany, Hungary (one university), Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland (some universities) the United Kingdom (some universities), obligatory in Latvia and Romania.

Postgraduate training courses in homeopathic medicine for doctors are provided at universities in Bulgaria, France, Italy, Lithuania and Spain, in other countries at private teaching centres.

Homeopathic medicine is an official part of the Continuous Education Programme for doctors in Hungary and Romania.

A professorial chair of CAM including homeopathic medicine exists in Hungary (Pécs) and Switzerland (Bern).

Major Organisations
European Committee of Homoeopathy (ECH) represents all medical doctors with an additional qualification in homeopathy, organised in:

  • 40 associations
  • 25 European countries

European Central Council of Homeopaths (ECCH)
A European Council whose membership is made up of established associations of professional homeopaths existing within individual countries.

  • 25 member associations of homeopaths from
  • 23 European countries.

Insurance coverage
In some areas of the United Kingdom homeopathic treatment by doctors is covered by the National Health System. In Belgium and Latvia the fees for homeopathic treatment are partially covered by the statutory health insurance. In Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom by private insurance companies.

The costs for homeopathic medicines are covered by the statutory health insurance in Belgium (partially), France (partially), Portugal (only magistral formula) and Switzerland, by additional private insurance companies in Belgium, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Possibilities for BHMS graduates
It is not so easy to practice homeopathy in Europe with BHMS.

1. Try to get permission from their local medical council by sending an application with the curriculum with the total hours of study (Theory & practical) of each subject and experience etc,.  They may give a chance to update the hours in each subject if you are fortunate. After that, you will get an equalization of your degree with that of the medical degree.

2. Possibility to practice as a complementary therapist.  Also for this, you should get permission from the local health authority.

Fluency of local language is a must in both cases.

Scope of Homoeopathy in Germany
BHMS is not an acceptable qualification in Germany. You need to be a medical physician or a registered naturopath. In both cases, it is necessary to speak German language. Becoming a naturopath requires to take the corresponding examination.

About 700 homoeopaths are practising, two Associations & 5Pharmacies are there in Germany

As the necessary steps keep on changing due to adjustments of common European laws between European countries, the regulations change.  Currently, It will be very difficult to get a permission to practice as a homeopath in Germany.

If you would like to know the status in each country, visit
https://homeopathyeurope.org/regulatory-status/countries/ and click on the country you would like to practice. That will you give you a brief idea about the rules and regulations.

Source :
The European Committee for Homeopathy : https://homeopathyeurope.org/
European Central Council of Homeopaths : http://www.homeopathy-ecch.org/

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