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Warning of alternative therapy “side-effects”

Opponents of plans to promote alternative medicine have warned it could drive up health costs.

Ahead of a nationwide vote on May 17, campaigners on Friday said enshrining complementary therapies in the constitution would amount to an unfair treatment of conventional medicine.

The committee, supported by the youth wing of the centre-right Radical Party, has the backing of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party.

However, opinion polls predict an overwhelming majority in favour of including Chinese medicine, homeopathy, holistic, neural and herbal therapies in the list of paid health insurance services.

Supporters say alternative treatments will not put an additional strain on rising health costs and are not intended to compete with conventional medicine.

The interior ministry struck the treatments off the list four years ago, saying they failed to fulfil scientific criteria.

swissinfo

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