When this campaign began just six weeks ago, our primary goal was to create a united voice for complementary medicine in Australia, and increase consumer awareness about right of choice.
As we approach 15 000 signatures, the Department of Health has been forced to address Your Health Your Choice and have placed it on its Current Issues list.
As such the Government has, in a written response on August 11, acknowledged and responded to several concerns highlighted by Your Health Your Choice.
Your Health Your Choice wants the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) to maintain responsibility for regulating complementary medicines to safeguard the quality of vitamins and minerals, aromatherapy and homeopathy products – and protect the public from risk.
Right now, in Canberra the TGA is deciding if it will deregulate these classes of products, directly impacting public safety and Australian manufacturers and small businesses.
The Department of Health is downplaying concerns that the TGA may no longer be responsible for regulating homeopathic products in Australia.
“…An initial public consultation has been conducted on the possible future regulation of a variety of low risk therapeutic goods, including homoeopathic products”, the Department of Health states online.
“The options explored for all identified product types ranged from maintaining the regulation as it already is, to removal from the TGA’s regulatory framework altogether”.
Your Health Your Choice is currently conducting a poll to evaluate whether Australians believe the TGA should continue overseeing safety and quality checks for vitamins and minerals, aromatherapy and homeopathic products.
We will keep you updated with poll results and changes to TGA regulations.
The flawed NHMRC Homeopathy Review suggested there is “no reliable evidence” that homeopathy is effective in treating common health conditions.
These findings ignore the overwhelming positive experiences of 1 million Australians who use homeopathy every day, along with an existing body of scientific evidence supporting homeopathy (that the NHMRC ignored).
This NHMRC Review is under dispute – with a complaint currently before the Commonwealth Ombudsman alleging bias and conflicts of interest, along with procedural and scientific misconduct.
Nonetheless, the Government has downplayed any suggestions of misconduct, claiming the NHMRC used “standardised, internationally-accepted methods” to compile its Homeopathy Review. The Ombudsman Complaint details how this was not the case.
The Government also failed to acknowledge that the NHMRC Review is currently the subject of an Obudsman complaint and that it terminated and concealed the existence of a first review commissioned in 2012.
Your Health Your Choice will update you on the Ombudsman complaint as news unfolds.
One of the major concerns for both consumers and practitioners of natural therapies, is that private health insurance rebates will be cut.
Every day the YHYC Facebook page is inundated with complaints from Australian families, who are concerned their rights to access natural therapies and complementary medicine will be restricted.
At this stage, the Government’s response to consumer concerns is merely as follows:
“The Government has established the Private Health Insurance Advisory Committee to provide advice on possible reforms to improve the value of private health insurance for consumers.”
“The Committee is considering a range of issues, including product design for both hospital and general treatment insurance”, the Department of Health states online.
Your Health Your Choice will keep supporters informed of any changes to private health insurance rebates for natural therapies, as we know this will affect millions of Australians.