Creating the Optimal Australian Health Care System
Supporting Optimal Health and how best to incorporate Preventative, holistic Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM) into the Australian Health System.
useNature favours the Indian System of AYUSH, creating a separate Government department for Natural Medicine, monitored by Natural Therapy Experts.
useNature supports the World Health Organisations, WHO Constitution:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
WHO’s 3 Strategic Objectives for T&CM
Build the knowledge base for active management of T&CM through appropriate National policies. (Australia doesn’t have a national policy for T&CM)
Strengthen quality assurance, safety, proper use and effectiveness of T&CM by regulating products, practices and practitioners.
Promote universal health coverage by integrating T&CM services into health care service delivery and self-health care.
To create an efficient, economical and sustainable Health Care System in Australia, appropriate governing bodies need to be strongly encouraged to include "Holistic Natural Therapy Modalities" into the national health system, to realize the goal of WHO's constitution.
Note: This is in direct alignment with the United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights General Comment 14 on Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights who have stated “Investments should not disproportional favour expensive curative health services rather than primary and preventative health care.”
T&CM has a long history in "Disease Prevention" and the Director General of the WHO, Dr Margaret Chan has stated; “T&CM stands out as a way of coping with the relentless rise of chronic non-communicable disease.”
At this point of time, with the exceptions of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Osteopathy and Chiropractic, the field of T&CM in Australia is mostly unregulated, despite some associations recommending "Statutory Registration" for the "Naturopathic and Herbalist" modalities.
To be accepted by governing bodies, it is widely recognised that Natural Therapist Association need to present themselves in a "united way" with a workable strategy to be included and recognised by governing bodies, if this would be appropriate.
NOTE* To be accepted and recognised by the Government does not necessarily mean to become registered under the current AHPRA system, which would add nothing to the acceptance of Natural Therapies.
A Co-Regulation System is much more appropriate.
The present system is a Self Regulation System. - Natural Medicine Associations have worked hard over many years to transform Natural Therapies into a respectable profession by accrediting primary Natural Medicine Modalities within a set educational standard.
However, there is a deep divide between various Associations of how to move the profession forward.
Proponents for Statutory Registration cite the following reasons:
To assure public safety - probably the main reason. (Has not worked for Acupuncture - will work even less for Naturopathy)
Registration will recognise practitioners who have passed uniform, national standards of education and practice requirements, which may make it more difficult for unethical and dangerous operators to practice.
Establishing credibility for Natural Therapy Practitioners of qualifying primary modalities.
Credibility will encourage confidence in the professions from both consumers and other health professional groups, incorporating the profession into the Australian Health Care System, to actively support the health of Australians citizens.
Protection of Title, unregistered practitioners will not be allowed to use "Registered" modality Titles. (hasn't stopped anyone)
Approved unified, national" Bachelor level education". (it's not the degree, it's the curriculum which is important)
Access to a fair, equitable and transparent complaints mechanism for the public. (it's available already)
NOTE: It has to be noted, that according to the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC), regulation (being registered) is "NOT" about recognition of a profession. - It is primarily about protecting the public from poorly or untrained, unscrupulous or fraudulent practitioners.
Concerns about "restrictions": fastidious “accountability” that could stifle innovation. Higher costs including registration and insurance. - Less freedom as healthcare practitioners, highly regulated, being restricted, regarding practicing and therapies.
Concerns of patients logging complaints if a practitioner uses treatment modalities outside their "registered" modality, even if it is just a common sense recommendation.
Concerns of general higher cost for additional registration, continuing education, association membership, accreditation and insurance.
Concerns regarding education standards - grandfather clausal - bachelor degree bridging courses and curriculum.
Concerns by non-registered practitioners of "elective" modalities, if their practice will be eroded, or closed down.
Concerns, that Registration will not protect a Modality Title, and will not be sufficient policed.
Concerns that Registration will provide an avenue for the "Dob a Colleague In" mentality.
Paying an extra fee for seemingly nothing of direct value, while still having to belong to an Association to get private health rebates.
Registration will NOTguarantee access to Medicare funding for visits to herbalists or naturopaths, and in NO wasy will protect practitioners.
ISOLATION OF MODALITIES: It will isolate Natural Therapies from each other, working against Holistic Principle
It has to be recognised that modalities considered for Registrations are ONLY Naturopaths & Herbalists, which raises concerns for a separation of Natural Therapy Modalities, ultimately leading to a loss of traditional and preventative treatment concepts.
NATURAL THERAPIES ARE SAFE
There is NO need to apply for Registration for Natural Therapies that are deemed "Safe", or indeed, "ineffective".
Indeed, one of the registration requirements is to cause "SIGNIFICANT HARM", and Natural Therapy is NOT causing SIGNIFICANT HARM, therefore it is NOT fulfilling AHPRA's requirements.
Modalities such as Naturopathy and Herbals "may" carry a "slight risk factor" for the public, but not significantly, and not more than crossing a road.
NOTE* Registration is only considered for modalities that could cause "Significant Harm"....
.... therefore registration is not likely to ever happen.
NOTE: The main problem with registration is a bias from the regulating bodies, and the tendency to "judge" or compare us with medical system standards.
You simple can not compare apple and oranges!
The medical system is "FIGHTING" disease, with chemical warfare, and as we know, in war, people could die under "friendly" fire.
The natural system is "SUPPORTING" Health in an individual and holistic way.
Registration under the current system, would include us into the "FIGHTING" disease warfare category, and patients and natural therapies will lose that battle.
We have to go back a step, and consider what we really want to do as practitioner.
If you like to "Fight Disease", please become a Doctor.
If you like to "Support Health", stay a Natural Therapist and support Co-regulation.
... Contrary to PRO-Registration's claims ....
It will NOT increase public safety; un-accredited, uneducated so called practitioners, or sales personal in retails shops still can sell supplements or herbal remedies.
It will NOT establishing credibility; it will do the opposite .... the public will assume natural therapies are harmful ... and even worse, the public will assume the misconception that a supplement is a treatment for a disease.
It will NOT cause a "Protection of Title". It will make no difference to people who practice without qualification. Accreditation as under the Co-Regulation system states already that only accredited practitioners are allowed to practice.
NOTE* It must be highlighted at this point, that Registration is NOT of any direct benefit to any practitioner, but instead gives rise to the possibility of vexatious complaints.
Ironically, it is that risk-factor within Registration, that "elevates" some modalities effective, which is a fallacy as the modality has not changed.
Natural Therapies are deemed as SAFE and therefore registration is unnecessary and only adds an extra cost burden to practitioners.
Co-Regulation offers excellent Representation and Protection for practitioners, and due to this self-regulation, most Natural Health Practitioners choose to voluntarily join with a professional association or accreditation body.
Quality safeguards such as: Requirements for membership; eg accreditation - ongoing training - insurance.
Co-Regulation supports all Natural Therapists, and all modalities in their preventative and supportive practices.
Co-Regulation assures that no fragmentation of holistic principles occur.
Cost effective accreditation for all practitioners.
Co-Regulation recognises that Natural Therapists "DO NOT" make therapeutic claims or treat a named Disease, BUT instead supports a patient in his or her effort to overcome a disease or aim for improved health and wellness, which is a practice of "Active Prevention".
Co-Regulation advocates a strict "Code of Ethics", and incorporates high standards of education and practice, as well as an effective complaints mechanism.
It is well recognised within Natural Therapies, that the goal of incorporating "holistic" Traditional & Complementary Medicine into the Australian health care system, has an evidence based success rate.
Most Natural Therapy Modalities, are generally perceived by the "Medical System"to be relatively ineffective, but safe.
NOTE: If the medical system speaks of being ineffective, it means that a modality is ineffective in "TREATING" a specific Disease, it does NOT mean, Natural Therapy is not able to be preventative.
However, it needs to be clarified over and over, that Natural Therapists DO NOT treat a specifically named Disease, they alwasy support the individual person.
Option - A NEW Modality term ....
Co-regulation with a Register for a new Umbrella Term; "General Preventive Practitioner" or GPP. ( other name options considered)
This Co-regulation accreditation would be the most qualified one, with the highest education requirements, and would include:
Naturopath - Herbalists - Homeopaths and Nutritionists.
In addition a set number of "Electives" have to be added. The elective modalities will also need to be accredited, but with less educational requirements.
Option - "Master Degree" in Prevention
Master degrees could be provided to qualify for a higher standard of therapy modalities, by example: - General Preventative Practitioner becomes Master of Prevention, or others such as Master of Medical Herbalist - Master of Medical Nutrition, etc ... more in depth knowledge ... and possible research education.
Option - Special benefits for patients under a Co-Regulation System, seeking reduced Private Health Care Cost, due to Preventative lifestyle measures, such as; no Smoking - No drinking - good Nutrition and Exercise Habits - enrolled in accredited classes such as Meditation, Yoga, Feldenkrais, Weight loss etc ...
These 3 elements have not been adequately addressed by the medical profession.
As an example: We have an Obesity Issue of dramatic proportions, this needs to be prevented from getting worse, while health needs to be restored.
A similar approach needs to be taken for all "Lifestyle Diseases and Chronic Health Issues".
The disturbing "maintenance drug treatment" mentality has to come to an end.
As vital as drugs are for many health conditions, a curative and preventative approach needs to be taken, before general health can improve.
We favour the Indian System of AYUSH, creating a separate Government department for Natural Medicine, monitored by Natural Therapy Experts.
Information regarding the
"pro & cons", as well as the strategies and solution for the "recognition" of Natural Therapies into the
Conventional Health System:
Deloitte Access Economics
Report, the real value of
Gaining representation on the floor of the Senate for accurately and fairly at a Federal level.
In 2016 the "Health Australia Party" is going to do everything to ensure this representation happens.
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