LMHI Bulgaria

Country Report to the LMHI by the National Vice-President

A new Health Law with a chapter for regulation of CAM has been in action since January 1, 2005. According to this regulation, only doctors and dentists are allowed to practice homopathy.

In the spring of 2007, a Working Group was formed by the National Ministry of Health to make suggestions about final changes in the CAM chapter because many national organizations involved in CAM had raised criticism
In addition, a new Drug Law was accepted by the Parliament which has facilitated the procedure for importing homeopathic remedies for homeopaths. This is very important because there is no national producer of homeopathic remedies.

The chairperson of AHPB was invited to take part in the Working group at the Ministry of Health as an expert in homeopathic education and practice. The board of Association of Homeopathic Physicians in Bulgaria made a lot of consultations with lawyers and health specialists to be able to present reasonable and practical suggestions for changes in the CAM chapter.

The chairperson took part in eight sessions of the Working Group. Many new versions of the law and other relevant documents were prepared. The suggestions of our representative were accepted very well by most of the members of the Working group, incl. the representative of Ministry of Health and National Center for Public Health Protection. As homeopathy is concerned in this CAM chapter - there is a project for creating a National CAM Coordination Center by the National Center for Public Health Protection, where alternative therapy methods and schools will be registered. Research and tests of methods will also be under its focus. A medical doctor can have his own practice as a full time homeopathic physician after the needed registration.

The idea to pull homeopathy out of the group of CAM methods and make it a regular medical specialty as pediatrics, cardiology, etc. was not accepted by the Working group for many reasons. This idea was supported by BMHO, an organization of doctors, educated by CEDH. The final report was signed by most of the members incl. the chairperson of AHPB. The project is in the Ministry of Health waiting for further proceeding.

The Homeopathic Society (member of ECCH) tried many times to be accepted by Ministry of Health as a partner in the Working group but in vain. The Homeopathic Society insists on removing the restriction only doctors to practice homeopathy . It created a case in the court in Strasburg - for restricting the rights of people, etc. At that stage the case was sent back to Bulgaria because of some administrative reasons, but the Homeopathic Society is definitely going to continue its fight against the law.

A third procedure for equalizing basic and continued education of practicing homeopathic physicians is going on. It is organized by AHPB, under the guidance of UHB given some years ago. Homeopaths have to present all their diplomas and certificates in homeopathy. Those whose qualification meets the requirements for education of AHPB and ECH are invited to take the practical examination and respectively included in the Register of practicing homeopathic physicians. They will also get an European Diploma.

The public interest is growing. Members of AHPB were invited to take part in a TV program on 1st channel. The questions about education and practicing by doctors and non doctors were very tricky, but the given answers turned the scenario and as a whole the program had very good response in public and in the homeopathic circles.
The Health Channel "Zdrave" included in its program special time for homeopathy and Dr. Pachova was invited to start a show - discussing with other colleagues different health problems from homeopathic point of view. Every time a different colleague from our association is invited. All homeopathic issues of the program "Ave Professores" were accepted very well by the public.

A Bulgarian Friends of Homeopathy Society (FHS) was established in 2007.
Each month a member of AHPB give a lecture for the public, organized by FHS. In April 2007 during the World Homeopathy Awareness Week, FHS and the AHPB took part in press conferences, in a number of discussion forums and in the big PR event - a concert and an official dinner where many VIP persons from medical and political circles were invited.
April 2008 - during the WHAW, a series of lectures was launched on "Homeopathy and Sport" - Friends of Homeopathy joined sport events in kindergartens and in schools - gifts for the children and lecture and leaflets for the parents. A lecture on same subject was organised in the National Sport Academy - for professors and students.
A very fruitful joint initiative of the Friends of Homeopathy Society and AHPB is the project with a very popular journal in Bulgaria - "9 Months". The journal organises a School for pregnant women and periodically lectures will be presented there - "Homeopathy in pregnancy and childbirth" and "Homeopathy and the baby"
FHS applied for membership in EFPHA and is accepted.

AHPB organizes a group professional insurance for its members. 50 % of the tax is covered by AHPB.

AHPB is planning to organize a National conference in September 2008.

1. Homeopathic Organizations
1.1. Association of Homeopathic Physicians in Bulgaria (AHPB)
AHPB was found in 1995 and resembles the majority of Bulgarian homeopathic physicians with full course (2 or 3 years) of basic homeopathic education according ECH standards. AHPB has created a Register of practicing homeopaths and requirements for continued homeopathic education.

AHPB Secretariat: 10, Aleko Konstantinov Str., Sofia 1504,
Phone: 00359 2 846 50 91, Fax: 00359 2 971 84 46, e-mail: homeopathy@abv.bg

Other Homeopathic associations
1.2.1. Bulgarian Medical Homeopathic Organization
The members are doctors practicing pluralistic homeopathy. The education consists of weekend seminars according the program of CEDH.
Chairman: Dr. Ivan Nestorov

BMHO Secretariat: Sofia, 1407, Str. „Rilsky Ezra"15A, dr.nestorov@bitex.bg

1.2.2. Homeopathic Society
The Society was founded in 1994. Since 2002 has been represented at the ECCH/ICCH.
Chairwoman: Ass. Prof. Stanka Mihalkova
Phone +359 2 8229246 E-mail: bg.homeopathy@abv.bg

Universities and Homoeopathy
Medicine University in Sofia ,Medicine University in Plovdiv and Medicine University in Pleven have included a short optional course (26 hours) for medical students. AHPB is invited to take part in the congresses organized by the Association of Medical Students in Bulgaria.
Dr. Milka Mihaylova - a member of AHPB and an assistant professor in the Medicine University in Pleven organizes and conducts an Introductory Homeopathic Course - Classical homeopathy for medical students.

3. Homeopathic pharmacies / manufacturers
DHU Arzneimittel GmbH & Co.KG has been on the Bulgarian market since the end of 2004. DHU is planning to import Schuesler salts and mono preparations in decimal and centesimal potencies after 1st January 2007. Partner in Bulgaria Libra AD.
Address: Libra AD, Sofia 1700, 3, Acad. Stephan Mladenov Str. ; phone+350 888926206,
E-mail: n_petrova@libra-ag.com

Laboratory „Helios - Homeopharm" prepares ex-temporal forms of 306 homeopathic remedies from 6 C to MM. It works with substances from Helios Pharmacy England and is the only pharmacy where patients can find potencies higher than 30 C.
Address: Sofia , 13, Tchataldsha Str,; mail: homeo97@abv.bg

Boiron imports remedies up to 30 C. Many of the remedies are imported only in 2 or 3 potencies.
Address: CEDH _Bulgaria, Sofia 1407, Juzhen Park, Bl. 28, Entr. A, Ap. 6, 
Phone: +359 2 963 20 91, fax: +359 2 963 45 00
Heel products are also on the market.

4. Homeopathic Schools

CENTRE for Health and Education "Edicta" - ECH Licensed School,
e-mail: edicta@abv.bg

CEDH Boiron -Sofia, 1421 Str. "Gorski putnik", N 1-3, e-mail: info@cedh.bg

Homeopathic Society - mainly non doctors,. bg.homeopathy@abv.bg

Future Goals of AHPB

Maximum homeopathic physicians to achieve LMHI and ECH standards for good practice
Organizing seminars, which will bring credits to the doctors as a part of their continued medical education. Initializing research activities among AHPB members.
Further support for Bulgarian „Friends of Homeopathy" Society .
Regular Organization of National Homeopathic Conferences to stimulate Bulgarian homeopaths to share their achievements with other colleagues.

Dr. Dora Pachova