“Guignols”: controversy around Doctolib, accused of promoting unrecognized medicines

Several health professionals pin Doctolib and accuse the medical appointment booking platform of promoting unrecognized medicines.

They are naturopaths, acupuncturists, sophrologists, homeopaths… and do not seem to be unanimous. Indeed, it was a tweet published this Friday, August 19 that set fire to the powder: “I discovered by typing by chance that (Doctolib) offer consultations… of naturopathy. It’s as if blablacar had opened a Emile Louis section. Do you want to exterminate people? Do you realize that your seal validates them? #fakemed #naturopathy” protests the user.

The alert was launched by a doctor on Twitter, visibly outraged to see the presence of profiles of practitioners of naturopathy, a pseudoscience claiming to be closer to nature than conventional medicine and sometimes accused of abuses, according to the Miviludes.

“The fact that there are profiles of naturopaths on the most powerful platform for access to care, which had a public service mission for anti-Covid vaccination, that disturbed me a little”, confides the intensive care physician at Parisian.

Hundreds of profiles of naturopathic specialists are available on the site, our colleagues have noted in particular.

It is thus possible to make an appointment for a session of hypnosis, naturopathy, sophrology or neurofeedback (supposed to allow the individual to control his neuronal activity).

Doctolib reacts

The platform thus believes that “society is changing and, for example, certain patient associations are promoting access to complementary therapies. We consider that it is not Doctolib’s role to settle these debates”. Doctolib adds that these alternative professions represent a marginal share of listed users (3%) and that the site mentions several times “this practitioner exercises an unregulated profession” and “their diploma is not recognized by the State”, details Le Figaro.

3% of our users work in the field of well-being or medico-social. Their activity is legal but they are of course not health professionals. Appointments with these practitioners represent 0.3% of all appointments made on Doctolib. 3/11

— Doctolib (@doctolib) August 21, 2022

Asked by the IndependentDoctolib explains that the site “does not promote or advertise so-called unconventional care practices” and “is not a service used only by doctors but also by other health personnel and practitioners (podiatrists , dietitian, opticians, etc.).

An insufficient response for some doctors

Indeed, on Twitter, several health professionals expressed their disagreement.

It seems to me that it had to stop @stanniox @doctolib
Naturopath or chosopath is in no way state-certified medicine (doctor) By accepting on your platform bearing the suffix “Docto” you are fooling people to make money pic.twitter.com/XScEJsCDrW

— DrMartyUFML-S (@Drmartyufml) August 19, 2022

You are jerks @doctolib
On your site it is written “Cs with a HEALTH PROFESSIONAL”
Naturopaths, osteopaths, and other quacks are NOT health professionals.
The list of health professionals is defined by the health code pub = “La Loi”. https://t.co/yQBsyXz1qF pic.twitter.com/dXWQcUHMoH

— Thomas Clavier (@ThomasClavierMD) August 19, 2022

70 million people use Doctolib in Europe according to the platform.

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