The Liberal National Government will commission an updated review of certain natural therapies including a five year update to its 2014-15 review of natural therapies.
The review will be led by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy and be supported by an advisory panel of experts including Associate Professor of Public Health Jon Wardle from the University of Technology Sydney.
The review will also utilise the expertise of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
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.
The Government will invest up to $2 million to support this review.
This updated review will commence in mid 2019 with the final review report to be provided to Government in 2020.
In addition to Associate Professor Wardle the advisory panel will include other experts in natural therapies, consumer representatives, and experts in private health insurance, medicine, and allied health.
The Government is committed to making private health insurance more affordable for the more than 13 million privately insured Australian families, young people and older Australians.
The Government’s package of health insurance reforms, which took effect on Monday this week (1 April), has delivered the lowest annual premium change in 18 years, at 3.25 per cent.
Private health insurers have now begun to classify private hospital products into four easy to understand tiers — Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic. This will improve transparency in the health insurance sector and help consumers choose the cover that best suits their needs.
Insurers have also now begun to offer premium discounts for young people aged between 18 and 29, higher excesses in exchange for lower premiums, and travel and accommodation benefits for people who have to travel long distances for hospital treatment.
These changes will deliver real and tangible benefits for consumers.