natural therapies

Starting the year disappointed

posted in: newsletters | 0

Firstly, before I go and get all political on you (which I tend to avoid – I was brought up never to discuss religion or politics…), Happy Happy New Year to you. I hope 2019 proves to be your best yet and that you have an abundance of love, laughter and health coming your way.

Right then, onto some serious business. You may already know that from April 1st, 2019 that your private health rebate for naturopathy will be removed. That’s right. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the government has decided that there is insufficient evidence to show that naturopathy or herbal medicine work. Unbelievable (tempted to use an expletive here – but decorum and a private school education dictates otherwise)!

“From 1 April 2019, private health insurers will not be permitted to provide cover for natural therapies, with the exception of traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic and massage therapy. Private health insurers will be required to remove cover for natural therapies from all general treatment products that provide cover for these therapies. The Commonwealth, through the Private Health Insurance Rebate, will therefore no longer subsidise these non-permitted therapies.”

This means that the following natural therapy treatments will lose their Private Health Insurance cover:

  • Alexander technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Bowen therapy
  • Buteyko
  • Feldenkrais
  • Herbalism
  • Western Herbal Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Iridology
  • Kinesiology
  • Naturopathy
  • Pilates
  • Reflexology
  • Rolfing
  • Shiatsu
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga

Here’s the great thing about this – ZERO scientific papers on these modalities were actually reviewed. This, despite that fact that up to 70% of Australians utilise complementary medicine. This, despite the valuable contribution that we make by actually saving the government money by keeping people well. People, we are going backwards and it breaks my heart (and makes my blood boil, if you hadn’t noticed). Whatever happened to prevention is better than cure?

Marla Cunningham, from Metagenics, has written an excellent article about the rationale and flawed reasoning behind this decision. Please do take the time to read it.

What then can you do?

1. I encourage you to write a letter to your local and federal member and the federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt. Herewith an example of some of the things you may like to mention:

  • I am using the services of a naturopath and find them incredibly useful. They help me with my health, which means I can be a positive contributor to the community.
  • I am saving the government money because I require less services from the regular medical system.
  • GPs do not have the time to discuss diet, nutrition and lifestyle changes with me.

2. Vote with your wallet. Many of us with private health are reviewing our cover. I can tell you that your premiums are not going down in spite of having less services available The Barefoot Investor (p40) suggests only purchasing top-level ‘comprehensive’ private health insurance, not to purchase extras or combined healthcare cover and to stay away from health insurance comparison sites – it’s a sales page. Instead go to https://www.privatehealth.gov.au/

3. Another option is to sign the petition at Your Health Your Choice. We are at over 100 000 signatures, but we need lots more. It’s not too late. https://www.yourhealthyourchoice.com.au/#section-join-campaign

4. Share this blog post with your friends and family.

Sadly, it is so often the case in society that we end up being dictated to by the vocal minority.

Not to be too dramatic, but I’ll end with this quote from Martin Luther King.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. “

Yours in good health,

Marnie