The 17 natural therapies being considered for removal of government and health fund rebates include Herbal Medicine, Naturopathy, Massage therapy, Pilates, Tai chi, Yoga, Aromatherapy and more!
The committee formed this decision by only looking at published research of natural therapies "being delivered as a health service", and excluded the massive amount of peer reviewed and published evidence on the individual treatments in those therapies. As there weren't many studies published on these therapies "being delivered as a health service" this lead to their pathetic recommendations. Of the studies that were available on these therapies, they did show that the therapies were effective, safe, had very little or no safety issues (ed: which would put modern medicine treatments of surgery and pharmaceuticals to shame!) and were cost effective by being cheaper and allowing patients to return to work quicker! But all of that counted for nothing all because of the low numbers of studies found due to the committee's restrictions.
In my chosen fields of Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine (as Nutritional Medicine was excluded from the committee's investigation), everything I use and recommend is evidence -based, which was how I was taught! In each of my assignments and case studies I had to find 50-100+ peer-reviewed and published scientific articles to show how and why a particular recommendation was scientifically proven for a client with a particular health condition! And what I found was only a tiny drop in the ocean of published research, yet this bunch of biased morons on this committee designed their search to not allow any of this evidence!
Anyone who has used any of the above natural therapies will know that they work, that they are safe and have far less side effects than taking medications, having unnecessary surgeries or other dangerous medical treatments. In a peer-reviewed and published Cochrane review of traditional Western medical treatments a few years ago, about 70% of medications, surgeries or treatments were found to NOT be effective or safe in research! Should these treatments be removed from health fund rebates too?!
The Labor party have today (10th June 2016) announced that they will drop private health insurance rebates for natural therapies, just to save some $. But these natural therapies already save the government a massive amount of money by taking the strain off the health system, actually fixing the causes of health conditions, instead of just hiding symptoms which force the problem deeper into the body and making it worse in the long term.
If this decision by Labor (and potentially by the other major parties too) is of concern to you and your family's health, please ask your local member for their policy on this matter. If their answer is not satisfactory, please consider looking at the policies of a new political party in the upcoming Federal elections - the Health Australia Party (HAP), which not only have policies to do with your health, but for a healthy economy, healthy environment, healthy democracy and healthy society! HAP may have a candidate in your local area, but they are mostly looking for seats in the Senate, so please consider HAP as a healthier choice! Take a stand in this election, and have your voice heard!