On the 10th September 2018 the Senate, along with the support of Labor and the Greens, passed the Federal Government’s Health Insurance Reform Laws.  

As of the 1st of April 2019, Private Health Funds will no longer cover a range of Natural Therapies.  This will include Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Reflexology, Yoga and Pilates.

According to Complementary Medicines Australia, Australians were expected to spend $4.6 billion in 2017-2018 on Complimentary Medicines.  Complimentary Medicines are regulated in Australia under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, and includes vitamins, mineral and nutritional supplements, aromatherapy, Homeopathics, Traditional Chinese Medicines, Ayurvedic, and Australian Indigenous and Western Herbal Medicines.  With two out of three Australians using some form of natural medicine or therapies, it is pretty obvious Australians are seeing the results of Natural Medicines and improvements in their health and wellbeing.

Naturopathy is now a 4 year degree at University.  A Naturopaths role is to assist clients with accessing scientific testing, including privately paid blood pathology and functional pathology.  This testing provides further information to a person’s health and Medical Reviews with a GP should still be recommended. Naturopathy, particularly in the year 2018, is not seen as an “alternative” but rather as “complementary” to the medical system.  With many people self-prescribing Natural Medicines, a Naturopath is trained to advised the correct formulas for particular health issues, educate on interactions with pharmaceuticals and also advise on interactions between natural medicines with each other and disease states.  

Naturopaths also have access to a liquid Herbal Dispensary, providing high dosage and highly absorbable formulas.  Their Practitioner Only Products (only accessible through their clinic) provide the highest quality and dosages for optimal therapeutic benefits.  

A poll of 4000 people was commissioned by Your Health Your Choice, which found that 95 percent of people would cancel private health insurance or drastically reduce cover, if the Federal Government goes ahead with cutting the rebate for Natural Therapies.  

Spokeswoman for Your Health Your Choice – Petrina Reichman, stated “Consumers are angry.  They see this as the Government taking away their right of choice in healthcare and stripping the value from their private health insurance policies”.  

Due to its focus on preventative medicine, another benefit of Natural Medicine, is that in the long term individuals may save money on hospitals and medical costs. Planning wellness through nutrition, diet and lifestyle changes, early testing and detection, consumers choosing to invest in their health, should only be classed as a positive for the government and medical system.

At Bargara Beach Holistic Health Centre, our Naturopaths are registered with all Health Funds in Australia.  If you would like to make the most of your Extras cover, we would recommend that you book an appointment as soon as possible so you can have all your testing and reviews done before the beginning of April.  To book an appointment – call the clinic on (07)41 59 1834 or book online through https://www.healthandhealing.net.au/online-bookings/

Personally, we are not overly concerned as people who see the value of consulting with a Naturopath in regards to improving their health and preventing disease, will visit us regardless of their health fund status.  Many of our clients do not have Extras cover. We are not that surprised of the government removing Naturopathy from Health Funds as this type of thing has been going on for many years. What does concern us is, there are still some people who are calling themselves Naturopaths but they are not suitably qualified.  Naturopaths registered with Health Funds was evidence of their education. It is important now that people ask to see a copy of their Naturopaths qualifications.

If you would like to review many of the scientific studies done on Natural Medicines, go to www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov or search in pubmed.  It is well known that most Doctors, Specialists and Pharmacists now recommend various Natural Medicines to their patients.

Visit www.yourhealthyourchoice.com.au if you wish to sign a petition to call for a Senate Inquiry into bias against natural therapies and why Government-funded reports have ignored positive evidence.

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