Italy: Integrating CAM into the healthcare
In Italy, individual regions are making efforts to increase the use of CAM in healthcare. Although the Government Act from 2001 excluded acupuncture, phytotherapy, homeopathy and other CAM therapies from the basic healthcare (LEA), some regions, such as Tuscany, Bolzano, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, have included CAM in their regional healthcare.
The situation for alternative medicine – especially homeopathy – in Italy was also reported by the Czech server "svethomeopatie.cz" in the article Homeopathy has become part of Italian healthcare:
“Some regions, including Tuscany, have decided to include complementary medicine among the basic healthcare and to create appropriate systems in order to integrate complementary medicine into the public health system. A homeopathic clinic was established in Lucca, Tuscany, in 1998 as part of a pilot project to assess the feasibility of a plan to incorporate complementary medicine into the public health system. To date, over 4,000 patients have been treated at the Lucca clinic. During this time, the efficacy of homeopathy has been investigated among all patients and among children, women and parents.
Another study looked at the effect of homeopathy on atopic diseases, respiratory tract diseases and the side effects of cancer treatment among women. Other parts of the research looked at the financial cost of the individual treatments, the sociodemographic characteristics of the patients, and compliance with standards and risk management. The results show that homeopathy can be effectively integrated into the healthcare system and, in some cases, can replace allopathic medicine.
Tuscany can be a useful example when creating national or European systems for incorporating complementary medicine.” (251)