A bottle of warm beer is better than psychotherapy, a German health official has advised.
According to Josef Hecken, chair of the country’s statutory health system, a drink can heal minor illnesses like sleep disorders.
Speaking at a debate, he also ridiculed the inclusion of psychotherapists in Germany’s healthcare provision.
His comments have provoked outrage among leading medics claiming he has trivialised severe mental disorders.
Dieter Best, chairman of the German Association of Psychotherapists, attacked Hecken’s suggestion as ‘unspeakable’ in an open letter.
He wrote: ‘You trivialise and ignore the needs of our patients with your bottle of beer metaphor.
‘And you subtly stigmatise people with severe psychiatric disorders.’
The letter, published in German newspaper Tagesspiegel, also blasted Mr Hecken for saying it was a ‘cardinal sin’ the government incorporated psychotherapists into the national health service.
Before 1999, people with mental disorders were transquilised instead of receiving therapy, Mr Best exclaims.
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