Good news for supporters of liberty, democracy and complementary medicine has emerged from Switzerland.

The interior ministry of the land of bankers, superior chocolate and timepieces has announced that ‘Homeopathy, holistic medicine, herbal medicine, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine will acquire the same status as conventional medicine by May 2017 when it comes to health insurance.’ This is similar to Britain deciding to recognise all these on the NHS (only homeopathy is available on the NHS at the moment) as British citizens pay national insurance while other places have compulsory or non-compulsory health insurance.

Of course the (mostly non-medically qualified) Disciples of Scientism (who call themselves ‘sceptics’ or whatever in the UK) will whinge on about irrationality, non-logic and that these holistic approaches have  been ‘disproven’ (they have not) and so on. Nevertheless for those of us who have long insisted that this is and always has been a political not a scientific issue, this is a victory for liberty and democracy and the will of the people over those who think the people are too stupid, ignorant or gullible to think or decide for themselves when it comes to their own health.

In 2005 these forms of complementary medicine were rejected by the Swiss authorities for ‘lack of proof’. However in 2009 the Swiss went to the polls (such sweet words to liberals, such poisonous verbiage to authoritarians) on this very issue. Result: ‘Two-thirds of Swiss backed their inclusion on the constitutional list of paid health services.’  Eleven years later, this has become law and health insurance companies must respect the will of the people if the people want these five modalities of whole person medicine. Oh that we could vote on such issues here in the UK!  Whatever one’s view of how these whole person medical approaches work (and they do work), the people are quite intelligent enough to decide themselves whether they should be made available as valid choices in mainstream society. The two thirds of Swiss citizens who voted for holistic medicine may not all want  it for themselves but unselfishly would not deny it to those who want it and benefit from it. Thus does democracy  show its kind side when instead of receiving snorting derision, the views of significant minorities of people are respected by the majority of citizens. There is a word for this and that word is civilisation.

Bravo Switzerland! Long live democracy! Power to the people!