Switzerland Gets it Right

Switzerland is a country known for its precision and its ability to keep its transport system “on time”.
It is a landlocked country so when it decides how it could survive, it basically chose financial services and manufacturing industries that are “light” in weight but high value.
Drug manufacture fitted that requirement, as was watch-making.
And it is self-reliant for most of its basic foods.
The picture-postcard views of Switzerland are either mountainous or brilliant green farmlands.
And rigorous town planning ensures that the boundaries of each urban area are contained strictly in accordance within their highly developed systems.

Switzerland also has a culture of supporting natural medicines and holistic therapies.
And given the pragmatic qualities of the average Swiss person, they have to work for them to be accepted.
Most of Europe seems to agree with the Swiss, so it is common to see medical practitioners specialising in various natural modalities.
They don’t seem to have the issues that certain elements within the Australian and US health system seem to object to.

In a recent investigation into the modality of homeopathy in Australia, the NHMRC formed a curiously constructed committee to investigate its practice:
* It refused the services of a specialist homeopath to assist the committee in interpreting the practice of homeopathy.
* It refused to accept a body of evidence provided by the Australian Homeopathic Association.
* It refused to accept evidence from non-English speaking countries. This ruled out the evidence base held by Switzerland.
* The chair of the committee had membership in the Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) which had an active policy of eliminating completely the modality of homeopathy, by campaigning to have government and private fund medical removed from their benefit schedules. This was blatant conflict of interest.
He resigned from FSM but carried his bias across to the NHMRC.

Naturally, with that construct it was little wonder that the NHMRC found that they had no evidence to recommend its usefulness, and so the official record states that finding.
With remarkable alacrity, the Australian Pharmacy Liaison Forum (APLF) met and condemned the use of homeopathy within the pharmacy profession.
Which is strange, because you hardly ever see it appearing in community pharmacies, except for a few products to service customer requests.
The APLF, supposedly Australia’s top pharmacy policy-making body, then went back to sleep again.

Meanwhile, Switzerland has emerged once more to endorse homeopathy as one of five natural modalities it will support within its health system.
There are five holistic therapies – homeopathy, holistic medicine, herbal medicine, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine – that are poised to attain the same health insurance status as conventional medicine by May 2017.
This means that people will be reimbursed for such treatments, so long as they’re administered by certified medical doctors.

Switzerland gets the big picture; why can’t the Australian and U.S. health systems?

The decision comes as the result of a six-year trial period that started in 2012 to assess these modalities for their suitability, efficacy and cost-effectiveness.
Before then, in 2005, health insurance of holistic therapies was rejected by Switzerland’s interior ministry, which cited lack of scientific proof concerning efficacy.
Through the years, however, people in the country have thankfully embraced such treatments and therapies; in 2009, two-thirds of the population there expressed the desire for holistic methods to be considered on the constitutional list of paid health services.

While we know that holistic practices yield many benefits over, say, health-harming Big Pharma drugs that are often prescribed at the drop of a hat, the reality is that many mainstream health practitioners are reluctant to prescribe for their patients, even though they may use natural medicines for themselves and their families.
This is because medical skeptics are scattered through many organisations that can influence medical opinion and vilify certain individuals e.g. SAVN for vaccinations or FSM for just about everything else.
That they do nothing to stop the proliferation of fraudulent evidence marketing the drugs of Big Pharma, but they do flex their muscles against parents concerned for the safety of their babies receiving ever-increasing toxic doses of vaccines and they attack health modalities that have lesser influence with which to protect themselves.
In essence, they act to protect the interests of Big Pharma.

Now that Australia, like many other countries has an ageing population and a need to find cheaper ways of delivering health care, a fresh look at what has always been available would be a good start.
Do we have the politicians that are capable of expanding their vision sufficient to look at the Big Picture?
That is debatable.
Meanwhile the script written by Big Pharma continues to play out, with Australia headed in the same direction as the US, to become the second worst health system in the world.

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