Alternative medicine, unregulated “therapies”: Doctolib facing accusations

published on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 5:45 p.m.

Several health professionals are concerned about certain practices offered on the medical appointment booking platform. Faced with the controversy, Doctolib announced on Monday August 22 that it had suspended several accounts linked to controversial naturopaths.

“It is not up to us to say whether these activities are effective or useful.”

The CEO of Doctolib spoke in the face of growing discontent among some doctors about the services offered on the platform, accused of promoting parallel doctors.

From naturopathy to sophrology via acupuncture, the French giant of online appointment booking lists many types of alternative and non-regulated health services. “The demand is there”, confirms Stanislas Niox-Chateau, as to these practices. “They are legal, so we have no reason to prevent practitioners from being registered on our site”he argues in the columns of the ParisianMonday, August 22.

“Doctolib’s problem is its positioning”, considers for his part doctor Franck Clarot, co-founder of the collective “On the side of science”, quoted by The Parisian. “If it puts regulated professions and other completely vague ones on the same level, then it is no longer a health platform but a service platform”, judges the radiologist.

Faced with these questions, the management of Doctolib relativizes the “marginal” presence of these services on the platform. “This is 3% of the 170,000 practitioners on our site, 0.3% of appointments and 0.06% if we take the example of naturopathy! Our role is to inform the user, give him clear information, but not to prevent it. We are not the directory of the Ministry of Health”, abounds Stanislas Niox-Chateau.

Doctolib also responded online, in the form of a series of tweets, defending itself against any promotion of the illegal practice of medicine.

Later in the day, Doctolib told BFM TV and at Parisian having suspended access to 17 naturopaths whose training was provided – according to their profile – by Irène Grosjean and Thierry Casasnovas, two much criticized figures.

A naturopathic specialist for 60 years, the first, aged 92, suggests in particular that parents manipulate the genitals of their children to lower the fever, reports the Twitter account L’Extracteur, which denounces medical misinformation.

As for the second, he is being prosecuted for “illegal practice of medicine” and “is in particular at the origin of speeches that can push patients to give up their treatments for certain serious illnesses, including cancer”, recalls BFM TV.

A French giant in making medical appointments, Doctolib found itself in the spotlight during the Covid-19 crisis, and played a central role in the vaccination campaign.

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