Petition Closed
Petitioning Ministry of Health & Family Welfare - Government of India Ghulam Nabi Azad

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare - Government of India: Stop using public funds for supporting homeopathy institutions

171
Supporters

There is no scientific basis for Homeopathy, yet it is the second most prominently used medicine system in India. The main reason for this is that the central government and the state governments invest huge amount of money in supporting homeopathy institutions including hospitals and colleges. According to a study, there are around 186 homeopathic colleges, 6000 government homeopathic dispensaries and about 250 government hospitals. The RTIs reveal that central government alone spends somewhere between $5m - $20m in supporting homeopathy.

 

Given that there is no scientific evidence supporting homeopathy, it is not justified to support homeopathy using public funds. The government support to homeopathy lends credence to homeopathy, which leads to bad outcomes such as in Gloria Sam case. Nine months old Gloria died a painful death because her father Thomas Sam (a homeopath himself) refused to use conventional medicine to treat his daughter's severe eczema condition. Instead he relied on homeopathy. Thomas Sam and his wife Manju Sam are an Indian born couple; however they lived in Sydney, Australia at the time of the incident. Both were convicted in Sydney and sentenced to a jail term for "gross criminal negligence" that led to their daughter's death. 

Further, according to the Constitution of India, it is a fundamental duty of every citizen "To develop scientific temper". We are performing our duty when we raise this issue. But by supporting a pseudo-science like homeopathy, Government of India is not fulfilling the fundamental duty itself. Also, this does not help citizens perform their duty as well.

Letter to
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare - Government of India Ghulam Nabi Azad
There is no scientific basis for Homeopathy, yet it is the second most prominently used medicine system in India. The main reason for this is that the central government and the state governments invest huge amount of money in supporting homeopathy institutions including hospitals and colleges. According to a study, there are around 186 homeopathic colleges, 6000 government homeopathic dispensaries and about 250 government hospitals. The RTIs reveal that central government alone spends somewhere between $5m - $20m in supporting homeopathy.

In 2010, UK Parliament's British Science and Technology Select Committee performed a comprehensive examination of whether homeopathy has any medical or scientific validity. The Committee concluded — given that the existing scientific literature showed no good evidence of efficacy—that further clinical trials of homeopathy could not be justified. The Committee carried out an evidence check to test if the Government’s policies on homeopathy were based on sound evidence. The Committee found a mismatch between the evidence and policy…. The Government acknowledges there is no evidence that homeopathy works beyond the placebo effect (where a patient gets better because of their belief in the treatment). The Committee concurred with the Government that the evidence base shows that homeopathy is not efficacious and that explanations for why homeopathy would work are scientifically implausible…. Given that the existing scientific literature showed no good evidence of efficacy, further clinical trials of homeopathy could not be justified.

Given that there is no scientific evidence supporting homeopathy, it is not justified to support homeopathy using public funds. The government support to homeopathy lends credence to homeopathy, which leads to bad outcomes such as in Gloria Sam case. Nine months old Gloria died a painful death because her father Thomas Sam (a homeopath himself) refused to use conventional medicine to treat his daughter's severe eczema condition. Instead he relied on homeopathy. Thomas Sam and his wife Manju Sam are an Indian born couple; however they lived in Sydney, Australia at the time of the incident. Both were convicted in Sydney and sentenced to a jail term for "gross criminal negligence" that led to their daughter's death.

Further, according to the Constitution of India, it is a fundamental duty of every citizen "To develop scientific temper". We are performing our duty when we raise this issue. But by supporting a pseudo-science like homeopathy, Government of India is not fulfilling the fundamental duty itself. Also, this does not help citizens perform their duty as well.

We will like to request you to stop funding homeopathy using public funds. Further this will help citizens fulfill their fundamental duty to develop scientific temper. We will also like to propose that the Government develops special courses for homeopaths, where they are trained to become medical doctors. The funds saved from supporting homeopathy could be used more judiciously in this manner. This will be more helpful to the citizens of India in the long run.

Best regards,
Savvy Skeptic