Like the fella says, sickness in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!

(Harry Lime in The Third Man)

Well, that and the world’s finest watches and chocolate, and – er  – banking by numbers – of course. Swiss medicine is also highly respected and multinational pharmaceutical companies have their headquarters in Switzerland.

Thus it was a delight and a surprise to read that the Swiss Government has produced an official report remarkably in favour of CAM and homeopathic medicine.   The report, recently translated into English, can be previewed here.  I am indebted to Dana Ullman’s excellent post in the Huffington Post for bringing the full details of this report to my attention. The report is described  as ‘the most comprehensive evaluation of homeopathic medicine ever written by a government.’

This was a full scale government report, somewhat more professionally conducted than our own  Science and Technology Committee investigation into homeopathy that thankfully had all its authoritarian and anti-democratic recommendations politely kicked into touch by our Government – in the name of democracy and liberty.

A few points that come up in the Swiss report:

  • Aprox. 50% of Swiss people have used CAM (Complementary and Alternative medicine) and value it.
  • Aprox. 50% of Swiss people prefer hospitals that provide CAM to one that exclusively provides conventional treatment.
  • 85% of Swiss people want CAM to be part of the national health service of the country!
  • Aprox. 50% of Swiss physicians think that CAM is effective.

Prior to this remarkable report published in German at the end of 2011, a national referendum on the subject had been held in Switzerland in 2009. Two thirds of the voters wanted homeopathy and some other CAM included in the Swiss NHS.

Heaven forbid we have such a referendum here! It might just show us the truth about what the British public really think about CAM and homeopathy. No let’s rather have another referendum on something really important – like the ‘alternative’ voting system.

The British Government has shown that its heart is in the right place with regard to homeopathy on the NHS. Still it could learn a lot from reading this Swiss Report and begin to integrate other forms of CAM into the NHS. Here is an informative clip of a talk given by my esteemed colleague, Prof. David Peters on this very subject.