News flash: Department of Health announces new Natural Therapies Review

In a spectacular back flip, the Minister for Health announced yesterday that the Department will undertake an updated Natural Therapies Review only six days after legislation came into effect to exclude a range of natural therapies from the private health insurance rebate.

The Minister said that the updated review would assess new evidence for natural therapies and undertake public consultation before any recommendations are made to Government to make some natural therapies eligible for subsidy through the private health insurance rebate again.

The official media release from the Department of Health

Remedial massage and myotherapy were not impacted by the recent legislative changes and remain eligible for subsidies. AMT anticipates that the proposed update of the review will further strengthen the case for massage therapy.

In fact, AMT is already eagerly anticipating the review of the review of the review. We’ve started working on the script for a reboot of Yes Minister.

Mise en abyme

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  1. It won’t happen because they will lose election. End of story.

    • We’re fairly confident that the Department of Health will drive this forward regardless of the outcome of the election. The Natural Therapies Review in the first round survived a change in Govt. There has been some unofficial acknowledgement that the legislative changes enacted in association with the first review have been a bit of a stuff up, not the least because the exclusion of movement disciplines such as yoga places Australia in stark opposition to most international healthcare guidelines.

  2. Linda Mueller
    09/04/2019 - 7:06 am

    Thanks for the update again AMT. I know you work tirelessly to retain this benefit for members that are accreddited to give health fund rebates.
    But for you those older therapists that don’t it doesnt install alot of confidenced to regain that status when you see an announcment like this.
    What assurance other than the power of word give us that Massage Therapy is safe under threat for those of us contemplating regaining that status. I for one am torn by spending time and effort and just plugging along promoting my business as such without it. Who else feels the same?

    • Massage therapy is safe. The intention behind the review is to consider reinstating some other therapies based on solid evidence and public consultation, not further removals. The backlash from the new legislation has been significant.

      But if you are getting by fine without provider rebatable services, we would recommend that you stick with business as usual. There are plenty of manifold reasons apart from Govt flip-flopping, to remain independent from the tyranny of private health insurance companies.

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