“Natural therapies” panned in Australia

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Posted 02 December 2015

An Australian Department of Health review of 17 “natural” modalities could result in their exclusion from the partial subsidy Australians receive through their government’s private health insurance rebate. The 188-page Review of the Australian Government Rebate on Natural Therapies for Private Health Insurance covers Alexander technique, aromatherapy, ayurveda, Bowen therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, herbalism/Western herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, massage therapy (including deep tissue, lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, myotherapy, remedial, shiatsu, sports therapy, Swedish, Thai, and therapeutic), naturopathy, Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, tai chi, and yoga. In 2012, the Health Minister announced that the Private Health Insurance Rebate will be paid for insurance products that cover natural therapy services “only where the Chief Medical Officer finds clear evidence they are clinically effective.” The review concluded that “Such clear evidence has not been found.” However, the current Health Minister has expressed doubts about dropping the rebate on these services. Erica Cervini, who frequently blogs about Australia’s higher education system, believes that the teaching of disputed therapies at Australia’s universities should be stopped.
[Cervini E. Review of alternative therapies should prompt scrutiny of university courses. The Age, Nov 29, 2015]

From: Consumer Health Digest #15-47, November 29, 2015

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