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Congress tumbles Citizens Initiative Against Natural Therapies

The majority of the Congress of Deputies, in its Committee on health and Social Service, has rejected the bill of the Parliamentary Group of citizens that sought to force doctors to denounce natural treatments.

The spokesman of the PSOE, Jesus María Fernández, reproached Citizens to confound the bad practices, fraud, and the “pseudoterapias” with natural medicine and natural therapies, that should not be persecuted, but integrated in the system, as proposed by the World Health Organization.

PSOE defends the usefulness of natural therapies

The aim of the proposal not of law of Citizens, defended by the deputy and doctor Francisco Igea, was to introduce a protocol for doctors to report to the practitioners of “pseudoterapias”, which identified, without making further distinctions, with natural therapies, which, according to him, “lack scientific support” and that “endanger the health of patients”. To that end, he proposed the creation of a protocol similar to the one in place to report ill-treatment.

On behalf of the PSOE, Jesus María Fernández, also a doctor, responded that he not only rejected the proposal, but also defended the role of natural therapies in the care of the health and well-being of patients. Fernández accused citizens of confusing pseudotherapies and frauds with natural medicine and complementary, traditional or natural therapies.

Natural therapies help in health care

Fernández did not hesitate to explain to his colleague that medicine is a complex practice in which one cannot demand the same level of scientific evidence from a potentially harmful drug as from a virtually harmless natural therapy. Read the position of the who, which describes the traditional medicines and “natural” as a set of techniques and ancient knowledge that help in the treatments and in the care of the health”.

And he took the opportunity to remember that bad practices also occur within so-called scientific medicine when a drug is given unnecessarily or when the right treatment is not done at the right time.

And he gave some examples of “reprehensible”practices. “Who are we going to report? The Doctor Who, in the face of insomnia, prescribes an anxiolytic or the therapist who gives the patient medicinal herbs? Do we report to the doctor that he prescribes antibiotics for a few snot or recommends jelly milk and observation? Who does three scans in a year for back pain or who recommends the patient to try chiropraxia or physiotherapy?”.

Alternative therapies should be studied and regulated

Fernández suggested, finally, that, in accordance with the recommendations of the WHO, is to continue “studying and regulating alternative therapies”, an initiative in the sense contrary to the proposal of Citizens.

Carmen Hernández, on behalf of the PP, also did not join the Citizens ‘ Initiative in arguing that there are already legal channels to denounce bad practices or scams.

The representative we Can (Developed Can), Marta Sibina, did not attend the session and none of the present group participated in the discussion.

Finally, the Citizens ‘ proposal was rejected by all parties present, except the mixed group, with 5 votes in favour and 30 against (PSOE, PP and Would).

Despite rejecting the Citizens ‘ proposal, the people’s Party presented an alternative, a generic condemnation of “pseudotherapies”, which calls for initiatives to improve information to the population about the risks involved and urges the autonomies to monitor the centres where so-called “healers” carry out their practices.

This proposal, which will not involve any amendments to the laws, was adopted with 26 votes in favour, 3 against (of citizens) and 7 abstentions.

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