Complementary Medicines

Thank you for express an interest in the current changes to the Private Health Insurance Rebate for complementary medicine.

I understand that many Australians use natural therapies and products. However, in a difficult budget environment I also believe that public subsidies need to be based on the best available evidence.

A review released by the current Government found no evidence that homeopathy and a number of other natural therapies are clinically effective. On this basis, before the last election Labor announced that although many private health insurance policies would still cover natural therapies the Commonwealth would no longer pay the Private Health Insurance Rebate for them.

Unlike the Coalition before the 2013 election, Labor is being upfront about the decisions we would make in Government. Choices like this will help a Shorten Labor Government to repair the budget while protecting Medicare, investing in better schools and creating jobs.

Many concerned have also raised the prospect that certain products could be banned from sale in pharmacies. Labor is following the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation closely, and looks forward to its final report and the Government’s response. We in Labor will finalise our own position in light of these.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this in further detail, please reach out to my office.