Natural Therapies Review 2019–20
From 1 April 2019, 16 natural therapies were excluded from private health insurance cover. This review will assess the clinical effectiveness of those therapies by looking at additional evidence since our last review.
Why we’re having this review
From 1 April 2019, private health insurers cannot offer cover for these natural therapies:
- Alexander technique
- Bowen therapy
- tai chi
- Western herbalism
Since our last review in 2014–15, additional evidence on the clinical effectiveness of these therapies has been identified.
What we’re reviewing
The 2019–20 review will:
- look at the additional evidence
- advise if private health insurance should cover any of the therapies.
How we’re reviewing it
For an overview of how the Natural Therapies Review is being undertaken see the Natural Therapies Review process and governance infographic.
The Department holds regular teleconferences to provide updates for stakeholders. For more information on these teleconferences please contact the review secretariat at naturaltherapiesreview [at] health.gov.au.
Natural Therapies Review Expert Advisory Panel
The Australian Government's Chief Medical Officer set up the Natural Therapies Review Expert Advisory Panel to help with the review. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, now leads the review.
The advisory panel includes members with experience in:
- researching or assessing scientific evidence of clinical effectiveness
- the practice of natural therapies.
Natural Therapies Working Committee
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is supporting the review.
The council has set up the Natural Therapies Working Committee to oversee the evidence evaluations for the review.
Please see the NHMRC’s review webpage for information on the evidence evaluations including:
- descriptions of the natural therapies under review as used for the evidence evaluations; and
- indicative progress of the 16 evidence evaluations.
Calls for evidence
The review included the opportunity for natural therapy organisations and members of the public to submit scientific evidence of the clinical effectiveness of the natural therapies under review.
This opportunity was provided through the:
- Tranche 1 call for evidence for Western herbalism, naturopathy, Pilates, Rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi, and yoga
- Tranche 2 call for evidence for Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology and reflexology.
Both calls for evidence have now closed.
Evidence will be published progressively for those natural therapies where the National Health and Medical Research Council evidence reviewers have published the final research protocols. This will avoid potential bias in development of the research protocols.
Natural Therapies Review Expert Advisory Panel secretariat
Contact the secretariat for the Natural Therapies Review Expert Advisory Panel for further information on the review.