EU Homeopathy Day was celebrated in Brussels today. This event is in its second year and marks the increasingly important position of homeopathic medicine in European healthcare. A joint initiative of the European associations of patients, practitioners, doctors and pharmacists of homeopathy and the European homeopathic industry association, this year’s event is being held in the European Parliament and is hosted by Marian Harkin MEP.
The theme of the day is ‘Homeopathy for a healthier Europe’. It celebrates homeopathy as a worldwide medical system with its roots in Europe and falls just before the start of World Homeopathy Awareness Week, which runs 10-16 April.
“100 million patients across the EU choose homeopathy as part of their health care. It is time for the European institutions to fully acknowledge the importance of this safe and effective therapy for so many European citizens. Homeopathy should be firmly integrated into EU health policy,” said MEP Marian Harkin. She was the host of and guest speaker at the Second Annual EU Homeopathy Day—BECAUSE IT WORKS FOR ME!—held at the European Parliament.
The event highlighted the need to raise awareness amongst politicians and decision makers in Brussels, on the important role that homeopathy plays in promoting individualised patient health and how integrated medicine must be added to the European health agenda.
Three out of four Europeans know about homeopathy and of these 29% use it for their own health care. In Europe there are 54,000 specialised homeopathic medical doctors and practitioners and between 25% and 40% of all European health care practitioners prescribe homeopathy.
“Homeopathy helped me enormously and continues to help me today. For the first time in my disease’s history, someone has understood, someone finally ‘got’ what I have been experiencing: I believe all patients should have access to the type of treatment I have received, if they so choose and doctors should be sufficiently trained to understand what homeopathy can achieve for patients and know when it is appropriate to recommend it, as in my case”, said Helen Llewelyn, a patient of homeopathy from UK.
The event was a joint initiative of the European associations of patients, practitioners, doctors and pharmacists of homeopathy and the European homeopathic industry association. They brought together speakers with varying perspectives to stress the importance of integrated medicine.
Speakers included: Dr Ton Nicolai, President of the European Committee for Homeopathy; Helen Llewelyn, a patient of homeopathic medicine; Professor George Lewith, from the University of Southampton, who spoke about the need for an integrated approach to medicine; Professor Jaap Sijmons, a health lawyer from Utrecht University who spoke on patients’ rights and the EU responsibility with respect to complementary medicine; and Dr Elio Rossi, from the Homeopathic Clinic and Campo di Marte Hospital, who spoke on behalf of the only region in Europe, Tuscany, where complementary medicine is integrated into the conventional healthcare system.