Labor understands that many Australians use natural therapies and products. However, in a difficult budget environment we 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.
Regarding certain products being 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. Labor will finalise our own position in light of these.
Allegations made against the NHMRC and other Commonwealth agencies are serious ones. The Commonwealth Ombudsman is empowered to investigate and resolve complaints against these agencies. Complaints can be made via http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/making-a-complaint.