Integration into health systems

IVAA advocates for national recognition of anthroposophic medicine and its integration into national health systems because we believe this will contribute to quality of health care.

Health system integration is in line with the World Health Organization’s strategic goal “to promote universal health coverage by integrating traditional and complementary medicine services into health care service delivery and self-health care.”

Integration of anthroposophic medicine into health systems is already happening at different levels of the health systems in a number of countries. Examples include:

  • In Brazil, anthroposophic medicine is one of the five therapy systems of the Ministry of Health’s National Policy on Integrative and Complementary Practices of the Unified Health System (PNPIC). Specialization in anthroposophic medicine of physicians, pharmacists and other professions are officially recognized.
  • In Switzerland, anthroposophic medicine is one of the five complementary medicine systems that are officially recognized and integrated into the health system. This includes reimbursement through the basic insurance scheme, regulatory pathway for anthroposophic medicinal products (AMP), recognition of anthroposophic medicine trainings and introductory teaching in medical school. 

Integration in hospitals :

A number of public hospitals or hospitals that are part of the national health system are providing anthroposophic medicine in integration with conventional care.

This integration means that physician and nursing staff have training in anthroposophic medicine, that anthroposophic medicinal products are prescribed and anthroposophic nursing techniques are used and that at least some of the additional anthroposophic therapies like arts therapies are available. Some of these hospitals have sought certification through the Anthromed label.

IVAA advocates that more hospitals start to integrate approaches from anthroposophic medicine. A recent experience of introducing anthroposophic medicine in the paediatric department of Fribourg Hospital indicates it is both cost-effective and results in high patient satisfaction. Current care centers integrating anthroposophic approaches are listed here

Integration in medical schools:

Some medical schools have started to integrate anthroposophic medicine in training and research. Examples include:

Witten/Herdecke University (Germany) provides the “Integrated Curriculum for Anthroposophic Medicine” as a full training program in anthroposophic medicine that is taught in integration with the 6-year conventional medical school curriculum. Introduction about anthroposophic medicine is taught to medical students as part of complementary medicine curriculum at several other universities.

A university chair in anthroposophic medicine has been established at Witten/Herdecke University (Germany) and Berne University (Switzerland).

Other universities have adjunct professors of anthroposophic medicine or professors with specialization in anthroposophic medicine.

Integration in clinical practice:

At the individual patient level anthroposophic medicine is always practiced in integration with conventional medicine as physicians and nurses are trained both in conventional and anthroposophic medicine and use both approaches. Anthroposophic physicians collaborate closely with different medical specialists and different anthroposophic therapists.