Lauterbach renews push to scrap state funding for homoeopathic medicine

Lauterbach renews push to scrap state funding for homoeopathic medicine

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has submitted a proposal to ministers that pushes for the government to scrap state funding for homoeopathic medicines.

Could Krankenkasse funding for homoeopathy soon be scrapped?

Karl Lauterbach has submitted a proposal to ministers which includes the suggestion that the German government should scrap subsidies for homoeopathic medicines which are covered by the German healthcare system.

“It makes no sense for homoeopathy to be covered by statutory health insurance”, the professor wrote on X, posting a SPIEGEL article which detailed his plans. “The climate crisis also cannot be solved with divining rods. Our politics must be based on scientific evidence.”  

Proponents of homoeopathic treatments tend to use highly diluted natural substances like plants, minerals and animal products instead of the medicines conventionally used in western medicine. The scientific consensus is that homoeopathic medicines have no effects other than placebo, but many insurance providers still cover the cost of such products.

“Health insurance providers should not be paying coverage for something that brings us nothing in medical terms,” Lauterbach said at a press conference, stressing that this also sends the wrong message in other areas such as climate politics. “There can be no reasonable politics that ignores the science, and in the area of homoeopathy that is what we have done until now.” 

In contrast to homoeopathic medicines, many other procedures and medicines, such as contraceptives, abortion procedures, STI checks and mammograms, are not covered by German health insurance apart from under very specific circumstances.

Why does Germany lean into homoeopathy?

Despite Germany’s international reputation for employing logical and efficient problem-solving, the country has a long history of promoting the use of homoeopathic medicines. According to a 2020 study conducted by the social research institute Forsa, more than half of Germans have used homoeopathy and 70 percent are open to it.

Homoeopathic methods can be linked to a late 18th-century physician from Saxony, Samuel Hahnemann. Hahnemann’s methods included bloodletting and purging, which were questioned even by his contemporaries in the medical field. 

Germany’s modern homoeopathic tendencies were cemented in the Nazi era, the period when the field first received official state recognition as a medical treatment. Homoeopathy was used by the Nazi regime to further a nationalist agenda through “New German Medicine” (Neue Deutsche Heilkunde), which placed importance on medicines made in Germany.

Thumb image credit: Image Point Fr /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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