Regularisation of homeopathic medicine in Belgium
The Council of Ministers based their approval on the official recommendation given by the Belgian Minister of Public Health, Ms Laurette Onkelinx – formulated after 21 meetings of the Unio Homeopathica Belgica representatives and university professors with Health Ministry representatives. With this decision, the Colla law on non-conventional practices (named after Minister Colla), adopted by the Belgian Parliament in 1999, can finally be fully implemented after 14 years of struggle. This law only regulates human medicine. The practice of homeopathy by veterinary doctors will be discussed in a separate commission.
The Royal Decree is not an official recognition of homeopathy but lays down the requirements for registration of homeopathic doctors. These requirements are the following:
- As for conventional medicine, doctors must comply with all standards of accreditation including the obligation to participate in a duty doctor service on weekends and to have Continuing Medical Education (minimum of 20 credit points a year)
- As for homeopathic medicine, doctors must have received homeopathic education at a teaching centre in accordance with the ECH / LMHI Medical Education Standards and must have Continuing Education in homeopathy (minimum 10 credit points a year).
The registration is essential with regard to the safety of the patients.
The national teaching centres will have to comply with the CEN quality standards which are to be formulated in the next few years. Transitional provisions will be developed for doctors practising homeopathy who do not comply with the above-mentioned requirements as well as for practitioners who do not have a medical, dentistry or midwifery diploma.
As soon as the Royal Decree will have been published, non-medically qualified practitioners can no longer start an education in homeopathic medicine and the practice of homeopathy by non-medical qualified practitioners will finally expire in Belgium.