Deutschland ist zwar das Mutterland der Homöopathie. Aber das aktuelle Weltzentrum der Homöopathie ist längst Indien mit den meisten Patienten, meisten Ärzten, meisten Forschungsarbeiten, meisten Kliniken, meisten Ausbildungsstätten, meisten Herstellern.
Während indische Homöopathen nach Deutschland reisen, um die Wirkungsstätten von Samuel Hahnemann zu besichtigen, reisen deutsche Homöopathen (Ärzte und Heilpraktiker) nach Indien, um sich dort weiterbilden zu lassen. Und immer mehr Patienten reisen nach Indien für eine homöopathische Behandlung.
Diese Entwicklung kam nicht aus dem Nichts, sie wurde strategisch vom Staat gefördert. Wie Homöopathie diese herausragende Stellung in Indien einnehmen konnte und Indien somit zum Weltzentrum der Homöopathie wurde, habe ich Dr. Manish Bhatia als Experten gefragt. Der homöopathische Arzt betreibt eine homöopathische Klinik in Jaipur. Und er hat die Webseite hpathy.com gegründet und mit anderen Kollegen zur weltweit reichweitenstärksten Webseite über Homöopathie ausgebaut.
Unser Interview über Homöopathie in Indien:
Christian J. Becker: Why does homeopathy in India play such a prominent role in the health system compared to other countries?
Dr. Manish Bhatia: „There are several reasons for that.
After India got independence, the conventional medical resources were rare and the population was huge. So there was a lot of space for alternative medicine practitioners to help the society.
The poor people, who were mostly uneducated, could not differentiate between a conventional or a homeopathic doctor. For them, anybody who could help them was a doctor. Then the medicines were also cheap and effective, added to its huge popularity in the poor sections of the society.
Most renowned practitioners of homeopathy then were either Christian missionaries or allopathic doctors who took up homeopathy. This gave homeopathy a sense of acceptance in the elite, English-speaking population too.
The medical resources in India are still scarce. There is still only one doctor for nearly 1650 people. In rural areas, this figure could go down to one doctor for 5-10000 people.
Realizing this huge gap in the need and availability of medical services, the Indian government has tried to include the alternative systems of medicine in the general health plan from the very beginning. The native systems of Ayuerveda, Siddha and Yoga were already part of the culture. Homeopathy was accepted in the fold, due to its popularity. The governments have put in a lot of effort in creating proper organizations for these systems, research centers, educational guidelines, medical colleges, government hospitals and clinics.
This continuous investment has paid dividends, in the form of increasing social acceptance, better educational standards, better clinical research. This has come to a point where Homeopathy has come to be regarded as equal to the conventional medicine.
This has not happened overnight. It has been nearly 70 years of government policies and support, popularity in masses and effective treatment provided by the homeopathic doctors. The anecdotal evidence in the society is very strong – nearly everyone has a family member who has taken homeopathy and nearly everyone has had or has heard of positive results from homeopathy. So here, not many people question its efficacy or plausibility.“
Christian J. Becker: I would like to illustrate the position of homeopathy in India with a few numbers. Could you describe how many homeopathy doctors there are, how many research institutions, how many hospitals with how many beds there are?
Dr. Manish Bhatia: „The data available from the AYUSH ministry (yes, we have a full independent ministry to regulate alternative medicine!) is from 2010. I’ll give an estimate for 2019 in brackets.
Homeopathy Hospitals: 245 (2019 ~ 270)
Beds under homeopathy care: 931 (2019 ~ 1200)
Dispensaries/ Govt . clinics: 6958 (2019 ~ 8000)
Registered doctors: 246772 (2019 ~ 350000)
UG Colleges: 185 (2019 ~ 230)
UG capacity: 12371 (2019 ~ 18000)
PG colleges: 33 (2019 ~ 50)
PG capacity: 1073 (2019 ~ 1200)
Total manufacturing units/pharmacies: 398
Please remember the figures in the brackets are estimated projections based on 2010 data and some other data from 2015-2017.
We have a government body that regulates homeopathic research. It is called Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) and it has one central and around 28 peripheral centers spread across India for conducting drug provings, drug standardization and testing, clinical trials etc.
We also have a National Institute of Homeopathy in Calcutta (two more are coming up!).
Government data says that 28% people in India use one of more kind of AYUSH treatments. According to an A.C. Neilsen survey in India, 62% of current homeopathy users have never tried conventional medicines and 82% of homeopathy users would not switch to conventional treatments. India leads in terms of number of people using homeopathy, with 100 million people depending solely on homeopathy for their medical care.
The organised homoeopathy market in India is around Rs 5000 crore.“
Christian J. Becker: How is homeopathy promoted by the government?
Dr. Manish Bhatia: As you can see from the numbers above that Homeopathy and other alternative systems are part of the general health planning of this country. They even get a separate budget. The government even actively promotes them through TV ads. There are government hospitals, government owned colleges, nearly every primary health care center gets a homeopathy doctor too, the private education and medical practice market is also flourishing, and even most insurance companies now cover alternative health care expenditure.“
Christian J. Becker: You also run the portal hpathy.com as a doctor. Why do you do this in addition to your medical work?
Dr. Manish Bhatia: „I started Hpathy.com in 2001. The primary reason for starting it was the realization that there was hardly any homeopathic literature available online then. Just a handful of websites existed and they too had little content.
I am also a computer science graduate, so I felt I was in a position to fill that void. Hpathy.com was initially started as a personal website but I soon realised that one man can only do so much. Inspired by community driven projects like Linux, DMoz, Wikipedia etc, I decided to make Hpathy a community driven project too. I invited some online friends and we started working on it together. In 2004, we launched the first e-journal for homeopathy, Homeopathy for Everyone. After that we received tremendous love and support of the community and Hpathy soon became the biggest and most visited homeopathy website. Today we serve millions of readers every year with free professional grade content. And Hpathy is still managed by a team of volunteer editors!
We have recently launched another big project. It is called Homeopathy Online Library and is available at https://homeopathybooks.in/
Here we are digitizing all the historical homeopathic literature. We have already made available nearly 200 books and 450 journals.
Apart from these, I have been practicing Homeopathy since 2001, have been teaching Organon since 2002 (currently Asso. Professor, SKH Homeopathy Medical College), and have written a few successful books (Lectures on Organon of Medicine – approved by CCH for BHMS and MD syllabus; available in English, German and Bulgarian; Homeopathy and Mental Health Care: Integrative Practice, Principles and Research (contributing author); The Fireside Book of Homeopathy Tales (co-editor)).“
Christian J. Becker: In Germany, homeopathy is under pressure from politics, the media and the skeptic lobby. What can you advise your homeopathic colleagues in Germany so that homeopathy can play a similar role in Germany as in India?
Dr. Manish Bhatia: „In India, Homeopathy became part of the mainstream because it was accepted by the masses. If the population demands for it, the governments bend and the skeptics are shooed away. Instead of just fighting the skeptics, if we put more effort in making the larger population aware about homeopathy as an available alternative and deliver results, we can reverse this negative tide.
I believe, in the end truth always prevails. If homeopathy has substance, it will survive all this negativity.“