The Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists (ARONAH) and Jon Wardle broke the news across the weekend that the federal government has announced that they are updating their natural therapies review for private health insurance rebates. This includes an update on the NHMRC review of natural therapies (2014-15) to include more recent and relevant evidence.
This new review is to be led by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy. Joining him on the panel is Associate Professor of Public Health Jon Wardle from UTS. It is expected this will take place mid 2019, with it being completed in 2020. This is regardless of any outcome from the imminent federal election.
In a statement on ARONAH's website:
ARONAH are very pleased to hear this news and welcomes this review of the evidence. Jackie Arbuckle, chair of ARONAH, states that “ARONAH is optimistic that this new review will better capture the large body of evidence that encompasses naturopathy and Western Herbal medicine in particular. As a profession, we knew it existed, and now we are hopeful it will be included as it should have been in the original report”
The CMO’s review will assess additional available evidence for natural therapies, undertake public consultation and provide advice to Government on whether certain natural therapies should be eligible for subsidy through the private health insurance rebate.
The Government has listened to the views of the sector that there is additional evidence for certain natural therapies since 2014-15 and this updated review will enable formal consideration of this.
This outcome is a huge win for the wider complementary medicine industry from consumers, clinicans and other stakeholders.