Nearly a quarter of adults value alternative medicine as much as regular medicine. About 80 percent think alternative healers should have a degree and that research on alternative treatments is important. This is according to CBS' 2018 Survey of Perceptions. More women than men say they find alternative medicine as valuable as regular medicine (27 and 20 percent). Women are also more likely to visit an alternative healer. Highly educated people consult an alternative practitioner more often than low educated people, but at the same time say they value mainstream medicine more than low educated people. Nearly two-thirds of adults prefer regular medicine. According to another CBS source, the Health Survey, 6 percent of adults in 2018 reported being treated by an alternative healer.

Why are supplemental insurance policies becoming increasingly limited?

Fewer and fewer people take out supplemental insurance. And the people who do, often make maximum use of it. As a result, health insurance companies are spending more and more money on it. To do something about it, they increase the premium or limit reimbursement. Also in 2020 we see small changes, reimbursements are in general 5 euros less, in addition, there are health insurers who will actually reimburse more given the importance in prevention and chronic illnesses. Cheaper insurers have been offering no coverage for years, but of course this translated back into a low premium so that one ends up being cheaper with 2-4 visits per year to an integral/ alternative practitioner.

Most valued medicine, 2018

Diploma and research important

A majority of the adult population believes alternative healers should have a degree; 41 percent favor a physician's degree and another 43 percent favor an alternative healer's degree. Nearly 10 percent do not think a degree is important. The majority of adults (79 percent) also think research on the effects and risks of alternative medicine is important. 64 percent believe the government should help pay for such research.

Visitors satisfied with alternative healers

Those who visit alternative healers are generally well pleased with them. On average, they give their healer a 7.9 as a rating. 6 percent gave an unsatisfactory rating, mainly because they saw too little result from the treatment or found the cost too high. People mainly visited the osteopath, chiropractor and acupuncturist.

Majority in favor of alternative medicine in basic package

Alternative medicine is currently reimbursable if it is covered by supplementary insurance. 38 percent believe that one or some alternative medicine should be included in the basic health insurance package. This most often applies to the acupuncturist, chiropractor and homeopath. Over a fifth think that all alternative therapies should be included. Any consequences for the health care premium or the rest of the basic package were not addressed in this question.  


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