At least it’s a start – ending the subsidy of nonsense therapies
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Government plans to cut subsidies to a “range of natural therapies that have not been shown to be clinically effective”. The list includes aromatherapy, ear candling, crystal therapy, flower essences, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, reiki and rolfing, but exactly what will be cut will depend on a review by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley. About time!
Many of these therapies are subsidized via the private health insurance rebate. I hope other holders of private health insurance have done as I have and complained to their insurers about part of their premiums being wasted on these useless techniques. Now, hopefully, we might see some action.
The government has apparently quarantined the ‘mainstream’ therapies from the cuts, and unfortunately this category includes acupuncture and chiropractic. Doesn’t Professor Baggoley get to investigate whether these are clinically effective? Who’s responsible for deciding in advance that acupuncture, for example, is clinically effective, and on what evidence?