Infoholix on CAM - Complementary and Alternative Therapies
A recent blog post on the Infoholix site, Euro notes with mint sauce Part 5, lights up the world of alternative medicine with some little known facts.
Definitely worth reading...
There is also a whole archive - actually a veritable treasure trove - of information on that site you might want to look into.
Find it here
"By definition an infoholic is someone who cannot obtain enough information.
The world of COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE is an infoholic's paradise.
For within this world there is to be discovered a stunning, treasure trove of diversity, yielding wonderous and life-changing opportunities.
Within the pages of this FREE DIRECTORY of COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE you will discover worldwide connections to many different forms of healing and enlightenment.
Each category is accompanied by an introduction to the therapy. The entries are colour coded, according to the world map.
You will find new therapies added to the list periodically in my timeless quest for knowledge."
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Infoholix on CAM
from Euro notes with mint sauce Part 5
Can you imagine 150.000 government regulated allopathic doctors or general practitioners, GP, treating patients with more than 350 different CAM therapies?
This is hardly imaginable in the Anglo-American sphere, but this is the case in Germany.
Every employee needs to have health insurance by law, GKV, and self-employed have approximately the same called PKV. There are 150 insurers covering GKV and PKV.
These are combined in an association which regulates what kind of medicine they pay for. The insurance premiums are the same (15.5% of salary) for employees with all of them, so competition exists only due to the different treatments they cover.
For example: All cover Acupuncture for backpain and arthrosis of the knee. But if you want Acupuncture treatment for headaches then cover is not compulsory but some insurers will cover it.
If it is not covered you can pay the GP privately. The costs for Acupuncture range from 25 to 60 Euros per session.
It is in the interest of GP that insurers cover as little as possible as the patient will gladly pay privately - or go to a hospital where every treatment is free when indicated.
The private charges are always higher for the same treatment than the costs the association of insurers will negotiate. The insurer aims to cover as much as possible in order to get the competitive advantage.
Bach Flower therapy can cost up to 200 Euros including examinations and diagnosis. It's the GP's favorite and more than 50% of the 150.000 GP offer it. You need to buy your bottles from the pharmacy, the same licensed pharmacy that sells all prescription drugs.
Biofeedback costs between 8 and 20 Euros per session.
Light therapy 7 to 13 Euros only.
Insurers scan worldwide databases for clinical trials of therapies to help them evaluate therapies they may want to cover. There are plenty of European/German databases but they also look at these:
These two institutions of the NHS in UK
Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD),
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE),
and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in USA,
as well as Medline and Cochrane databank.
On top of this insurers examine feedback from GPs and make their own studies.
For example Electro-Convulsion-Therapy for depression: *
- 50% of patients improve,
- side effects are nausea and memory loss,
- mortality rate is 1 in 75.000 (patients with heart problems).
The university clinic in Aachen treated 800 patients in 1985 and 5000 in 2011.
Sleep Deprivation or Awake Therapy shows 60% short term success and 15% long term benefits for depression. You get up at 02:00h, cook in groups or do other group activities that stop you from falling asleep, no naps or sleep for at least 22 hours.
German companies export the machines to China with which the Chinese produce the consumer goods destined for USA and rest of world. These German companies also build the entire factories and attached towns for workers. Fully equipped hospitals, equipped with "German medicine" are included. To start with workers are treated with TCM at the ground floor and "German medicine" is reserved for management at the upper floors.
This makes workers believe that "German medicine" is superior to TCM and hence more desirable. It becomes a perk for every worker to be treated at the upper floor. This is the most effective marketing technique which eliminates the need to convince a patient about efficacy of a treatment. When it is good for management it is good for us, that's the general perception.
We must keep in mind that Chinese workers have no health insurance and depend on health services provided by the company they work for. The days of Old China where a person would pay his physician while healthy and stop paying when ill until he has been cured have long gone.
There are 100+ therapies in the directory of infoholix.net and 100+ under "Categories under review". Very few of the 350 therapies available through the German health system are featured. Their creators often contend that there is one empirical medicine which comes in many forms only, that the term CAM was created in the countries of medical fascism in order to discriminate against certain forms of medicine and protect capitalistic interests.
Hence most object to marketing their therapies to US and UK as they do not want to deal with ineffable hostility, discrimination and persecution.
There is a world market for medicine after all, as illustrated by the China example above.
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* I am not advocating Electro-Convulsion Therapy for the depressed ... as a matter of fact, I believe that there is considerable harm in it. But in the interest of freedom of choice...
After all, that freedom is not only supposed to be for those choices we personally agree with. (Sepp)
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Thursday February 9 2012
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