According to a survey carried out by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) over half of the Spanish population believe Pseudo-therapies to be of real value.
“Public and private establishments that include pseudo-therapies will not be able to call themselves health centres,” Health Minister Maria Luisa Carcedo
With 53% of Spanish people strongly believing that homoeopathy works, officials warn of “very serious consequences” as this can encourage people to substitute or delay conventional medicine.
The government says that this misinformed social consciousness could, “negatively affect health by perpetuating illnesses, causing others, or even increasing the risk of death.”
To tackle the deceptive promotion of alternative treatments such as homoeopathy, reiki and acupuncture, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has set out The Plan for the Protection of People against Pseudo-therapies.
The plan emerged after 400 Spanish scientists signed a petition calling for action against pseudo-science in September, following the death of a cancer patient who refused traditional medicine.
This rejection of conventional treatment has been rapidly growing — especially among the young and particularly around vaccination — as suspicion around big corporations is perpetuated and people increasingly seek natural options.
Many alternative medicines can be found in pharmacies and are packaged in such a way that people associate them with conventional medicine. Some of these products even come with a prescription.
The plan will attempt to protect the public from misleading information whether it be from a corporation, centre or an individual influencer.
“Public and private establishments that include pseudo-therapies will not be able to call themselves health centres,” explained Health Minister Maria Luisa Carcedo, who presented the plan alongside the Science Minister, Pedro Duque.
The project has four objectives:
- To raise awareness around the effectiveness of alternative therapies by subjecting them to the same scrutiny as science-based treatments and the ensuing results will be published
- To put a stop to misleading publicity promoting pseudo-therapies by altering legislation so that providers must inform patients of their ineffectiveness
- To eliminate pseudo-therapies from health centres and guarantee that only health professionals with officially recognized qualifications work there
- To remove any degree that includes pseudo-therapies from the country’s universities