The report focused on a selection of particular health complaints with common natural health treatments that have been scientifically tested to an appropriate level. This includes the use of St John’s Wort in cases of mild to moderate depression and the use of acupuncture in cases of chronic non-specific lower back pain.
‘Treatments managed by qualified natural medicine practitioners are known to be effective. The more the field is explored, the more we will understand about what is possible through natural medicine’, said Ms Rogers.
The ATMS supports all research into natural medicine, which includes studying the efficacy of treatments and the benefits and impacts, as demonstrated in the report by Access Economics.
‘Anything that improves patient outcomes and furthers the community’s understanding of the benefits of natural medicine will always have the backing of our organisation and our members’, said Ms Rogers.
The ATMS hopes that the Access Economics’ report will push state and federal government to consider natural medicine as a serious component of Australia’s health system.
‘We would like to see governments at all levels working within their powers to assist and support natural medicine practitioners as they work to make an important and significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of Australians’, said Ms Rogers.
While ATMS members do not want access to the Medicare system, changes to the way GST is applied to natural medicine are a high priority.
‘Having a GST exemption on all services provided by an accredited natural medicine practitioner would make it more affordable for people to consult a qualified practitioner, ensuring patients could be treated in a safe and responsible manner, rather than self-diagnosing or taking off-the-shelf vitamins and supplements’, said Ms Rogers.
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As a financial and practicing member of ATMS I highly welcome the call for a GST exemption on all services provided by an accredited natural medicine practitioner including a tax exemption on all 'Practitioner Only' products.
It is time to reduce the tax burden on citizens seeking a real alternative to 'mainstream' treatments of chronic diseases.