By Val Allen, PNMC Director & Naturopath – Patient safety will be at risk from fake naturopaths when private health companies are prevented from offering rebates for natural therapies this year. From 1st April 2019 naturopathy and herbalism join a list of therapies that health funds will be banned from covering, as part of the Commonwealth government’s private health insurance reforms.
Currently, private health companies only issue provider numbers to practitioners who are registered with a professional association – ensuring they are highly qualified, have first aid skills, professional development and insurance.
For example, members of Professional associations, are practitioners highly trained and endorsed by their peers. Many hold a Bachelor degree, and all members adhere to a strict code of conduct. There are several professional associations in Australia such as ANTA and NHAA that uphold such criteria.
However, anyone on the street can call themselves a “naturopath” because there is no government licence or registration process.
Without the health funds enforcing safety standards, fake naturopaths will be on a level playing field with trained professionals.
There have already been high-profile cases of so-called naturopaths causing harm – these have been unqualified people masquerading as naturopaths, not trained naturopaths.
The changes to private health funds could see even more instances of vulnerable people being given dangerous treatments by unqualified practitioners.
But there’s still time to stop these unintended consequences becoming a reality.
Join me in calling on Health Minister Greg Hunt to remove naturopathy and herbalism from the banned list.
Sign the petition and share amongst your friends and family.
Let’s ensure health funds continue to enforce safety standards in the industry, so that dodgy practitioners don’t get a foothold in our community.
If you feel strongly that private health fund rebates for naturopathy and herbal medicine should be reinstated, please click the link to send a message to our Government! Click here to have your say. Also, click here to make sure you sign the petition, initiated and endorsed by the Naturopaths and Herbalists Associations of Australia.
This issue is so important to Natural Therapies Small Businesses.
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