The Australian Traditional-Medicine Society (ATMS) has launched the How Dare They! campaign aimed at the Federal Parliament as the Coalition Government moves to scrap the private health insurance rebate on natural therapies.

The move will make it more expensive for Australians with private health insurance to visit their local natural health practitioners.

Charles Wurf, Chief Executive Officer, ATMS, said Australians with private health insurance already pay a premium so that they can choose the best medical treatment for themselves and for their families.

“Natural therapies are vital to not only the economy but to everyday Australians, with 68.9% of Australians having used at least one form of natural therapy [1] and 69.2 million visits to natural medicine practitioners[2] over a 12 month period.

“For many Australians, private healthcare is about choice. Removing the private health insurance rebate on natural therapies seriously limits the choices available to Australians to manage their personal health and may affect the preventative steps they take to keep their families healthy,” said Mr Wurf.

With the natural medicine industry employing over 36,000 Australians[3], the potential economic effects are also of concern.

“With 28,000 Australian small businesses operating in the natural medicine industry, it’s not only consumers of natural medicine who will be impacted by this move,” concluded Mr Wurf.

ATMS ask that the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, reconsider this policy and reinstate choice back into the Australian private health insurance system.

The online campaign will run parallel to the planned Federal Government consultation on this issue in July 2018, with the new private health insurance rules being finalised for commencement in April 2019.

More information on the collaborative How Dare They! campaign can be found here: http://www.howdarethey.com.au

For more on ATMS visit: http://www.atms.com.au