Join Your Health Your Choice to protect complementary medicine in Australia
For the first time, consumers and practitioners of complementary medicines are uniting like never before and joining Your Health Your Choice - Australia’s largest campaign to protect the future of natural therapies.
Two out of three Australians use natural therapies, but our rights as consumers may be stripped by “flawed” Government reports that want access restricted, and complementary medicines taken off shelves.
Why are natural therapies under attack?
In June 2017, a controversial report published by the Department of Health claimed “complementary medicines pose a risk to consumers” in pharmacies when consumers choose these products instead of pharmaceutical drugs.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is set to ignore public opinion and remove a range of complementary medicines from legislation, declaring them “not be to be therapeutic goods”, exposing the public to products of unknown quality and safety.
In November 2015, the Government released a report concluding, “clear evidence has not been found” to support the clinical effectiveness of 17 natural therapies, despite positive worldwide research and the fact that millions of Australians regularly use them to support their healthcare.
In March 2015, National Health and Medical Research Council declared there is no “reliable evidence” that homeopathy is effective. This NHMRC report is under dispute with a complaint before the Commonwealth Ombudsman for bias and procedural and scientific misconduct.
Universities have dropped natural medicine courses due to sceptics’ lobbying.
Recommendations have since been made to remove complementary medicines from pharmacy shelves, declare products used by practitioners and consumers as “non-therapeutic”, and to restrict health insurance rebates for natural therapies.
Complementary medicine products and seventeen modalities are currently under threat, including massage, naturopathy, reflexology, homeopathy, yoga and Pilates – to name a few. The government has ignored quality evidenced-based research that shows complementary medicines are effective.
When practiced alongside conventional medicine, evidence shows complementary medicine can improve patient outcomes and cuts costs for the healthcare system.
How can Aussies safeguard natural therapies?
Millions of Australian consumers would be affected if complementary medicines were stripped from pharmacy shelves, or removed from private health insurance rebates. Practitioners prescribing “non-therapeutic goods” face an uncertain future.
Practitioners who have dedicated their professional lives to administering safe and effective natural therapies (supported by positive scientific evidence) would be impacted by such regulatory changes.
A dedicated campaign, called Your Health Your Choice, was launched on 18 July in response to these fears. Thousands of Australians are supporting the campaign with an average of one new person signing up every five minutes.
Your Health Your Choice calls for a Senate Inquiry to investigate the NHMRC’s biased and flawed review of homeopathy. Every Australian who joins the campaign is added to a Senate petition and has a letter sent to their Federal MP calling for their support.
The Your Health Your Choice Facebook page is reaching more than 140,000 people with supporters from Australia, Asia, America, Europe and Britain joining daily.
What is the Your Health Your Choice campaign about?
Every day, Your Health Your Choice receives overwhelming support from natural health practitioners, patients and consumers alike. Here’s just some of what people are saying:
- “My body my choice. My family our choice.”
- “I am truly fearful of what our health will look like when we can no longer choose…”
- “Traditional medicine works. This is how it became a tradition… the trial of success!”
- “Complementary medicine has been around for longer than modern medicine, and knowing its benefits to the human body has increased significantly over the years…”
- “Finally… natural medicine can have a voice. What a great campaign to fight for our freedom to choose our healthcare.”
The Your Health Your Choice campaign is calling for complementary medicine and natural therapies to be protected.
The Federal Health bureaucracy is pursuing an ideological agenda guided by sceptics and bias – not by the 2 in 3 Australians that use and value natural therapies and complementary medicine. This is unacceptable and Your Health Your Choice seeks to hold bureaucrats and the Government accountable to community standards and protect right of choice in healthcare.
How can I get involved?
If you use or practice naturopathy, herbal medicine, homeopathy, chiropracts, acupuncture, yoga, massage or any other commonly used natural therapy – then your choice is under threat.
Fortunately, getting involved with the Your Health Your Choice campaign is simple:
- Go online and sign the petition at www.yourhealthyourchoice.com.au
- Share www.facebook.com/yourhealthyourchoice.com.au with your social networks
- If you are a practitioner, involve your patients by using these dedicated letter templates
- Consider donating to the Your Health Your Choice campaign, as every dollar counts!
- Contact your local Federal MP, to let Canberra know that Australians value complementary medicine and will fight for our consumer rights.
Originally published on Aug 23, 2017