You may be aware that the Labor Party has announced their policy to stop rebates for Natural Therapies if they are elected on July 2, 2016.
There has been much discussion on this topic. The NHAA would like to clarify some facts and our understanding of the potential impact should this policy be enacted.
Background – key points
1. In the 2012-2013 budget, Labor Treasurer Wayne Swan announced the instigation of a review into Private Health Insurance (PHI) rebates for natural therapies – examining evidence supporting their clinical efficacy, cost effectiveness, safety and quality. The NHAA provided a 45-page submission substantiating the evidence-based practices of our profession.
2. In his 2015 report of findings, the Chief Medical Officer of Australia, Professor Chris Baggoley AO, concluded the following:
This aligns with the NHAA’s efforts to drive higher education standards as part of our commitment towards regulation of the profession through statutory registration.
3. On release of the report last year, the current Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley, commented that removing “natural therapies from the scope of the health insurance rebate is unlikely to deliver sufficient savings to warrant the cost of doing so… the problem here is this was purely about desperate budget cuts for Labor, not evidence…”. Read this article.
4. In response, the current government launched the 2015-2016 PHI Consultation process with outcomes scheduled for release in the first half of 2016. The NHAA has sought notification of findings.
What happens if Labor wins the election and enacts this policy?
What can you do?
Some ideas for action you can take include:
The NHAA exists to support Naturopaths and Western Herbal Medicine practitioners to deliver excellence in healthcare. We will continue to strongly represent our industry so you may continue to provide this service to Australia.