Susan Garrad, Bangalow
From April 1, federal legislation will prevent private health insurers from offering rebates for a number of natural therapies, including naturopathy.
The 2.5 million Australians who see a naturopath as part of their healthcare program should be deeply concerned as natural therapies will be out of the reach of many without the rebate.
The value of naturopaths in promoting and supporting preventive illnesses has been proven repeatedly. A burgeoning public health budget (state and federal) is based largely on meeting the cost of the traditional medical model. The role natural therapies play in preventing ill health should be recognised and supported.
A number of attempts to represent the interests of naturopaths and their patients during this process have been made. To date letters to the federal minister for Health (Hunt) and the local federal member for Richmond, Justine Elliot, have gone unanswered.
If you support your local naturopaths/herbalists take the time to contact the Hon Greg Hunt and Ms Justine Elliot and urge them to review the new legislation and remove naturopathy from the prohibited list.
Your freedom to choose a healthcare model based upon a preventive focus is at stake.