The International Homeopathy Day, held in Zagreb, Croatia on 24 March 2011, brought together important international and Croatian stakeholders to exchange information about the homeopathic medical doctrine, the current legal framework of medical doctors practising homeopathy in all continents, and its contribution to European and worldwide healthcare systems. Specific Croatian aspects focused on the national legislation, the registration of homeopathic remedies, and the homeopathic education of medical doctors.
ECH President Dr. Ton Nicolai lectured on “Homeopathy – Its Added Value to European Healthcare System.” He described the evidence base of homeopathy, its benefits for European healthcare and the cooperation with other CAM organisations at the European Union level to raise the awareness of the EU authorities about the contribution CAM can make to the Public Health agenda. LMHI Past-President Dr. Ulrich D. Fischer in his speech “Global Homeopathy” highlighted the fact that today Homeopathy is practised by hundred of thousands of medical doctors in all continents and has even gained official status and is integrated into national health care systems in many countries all over the world, such as Brazil, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. Dr. Peinbauer recalled the history of “Homeopathy in Austria”, pointing, in particular to the importance of homeopathic education.
Representatives from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine as well as from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry at Zagreb University presented the Croatian CAM curriculum, including six hours on homeopathy, in the university education process and talked about their experiences in the homeopathic treatment of animal patients and in homeopathic pharmacy. The representative of the Croatian Ministry of Health and Social Care informed the audience about the regulation of homeopathic medicinal products in Croatia that was drafted in accordance with EU directives.
CHMS-President Dr. Jelka Milić indicated in her welcome address that the CHMS contributed to the regulation of the Croatian Medical Chamber’s Working Group on Complementary Medicine that was established in April 2010 and includes medical homeopathy, for example by providing the working group with the LMHI/ECH Medical Homeopathic Education Standards translated into Croatian. Dr. Milić also informed the audience about the 3-year-basic medical homeopathic training program beginning for the first time in June 2011 for Croatian medical doctors, veterinarians, dentists and pharmacists. The course is based on the LMHI/ECH standards and will be organized in collaboration with the Austrian Homeopathic Medicine Association ÖGHM.
More than 120 participants used the opportunity to discuss the current status of medical homeopathy in Croatia and the possibilities of its further development and integration into the Croatian healthcare system with officials from Croatian Ministry of Health and Social Care and with the national Medical Chamber Working Group for Complementary Medicine Regulation. The working languages were Croatian and English, simultaneous interpretation was provided.
In addition, Drs. Fischer and Nicolai had a chance to give lectures at the annual family physicians congress (KOHOM congress) hoping that the Croatian Homeopathic Medical Society will be able to recruit General Practitioners for the planned homeopathic training course.
In political meetings with the Croatian health policy officials, the LMHI and ECH representatives provided political support to strengthen the position of the Croatian homeopathic colleagues. The meetings took place in a positive and encouraging atmosphere. Once again, the personal presence of the LMHI and ECH for younger homeopathic associations has proven a powerful and important tool.