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The Medical Board of Australia may Suggest Restrictions on Integrative Medicine – Affecting Your Healthcare…
In February this year, the Medical Board of Australia launched a public consultation paper proposing “clearer regulation of medical practitioners who provide complementary and unconventional medicine and emerging treatments”.
The document appeared on the website without warning or prior consultation with any of the medical colleges, representative bodies or academics in the fields of Integrative Medicine.
Thousands of Integrative Doctors Are Committed to Safe and Effective Complementary Options
Australians enjoy some of the best medical care in the world, with Medicare paying most of the fees of high-quality doctors and the PBS subsidising prescribed medicines when they get sick.
Medicare is, however, far from perfect. Amazingly, it does not pay for prevention (except in a few specific areas), even though at least three quarters of all common chronic diseases can be prevented, which would be cheaper and better for everyone.
The conventional 10 minute bulk-billed consultation does not work well for Australians suffering complex and chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s, mental health disorders and many more common health problems.
Conventional medicine certainly can be powerful. And many times needs great caution to provide appropriate health outcomes. Doctors need to be well trained to practise safely. Even so, tens of thousands of Australians are hospitalised, and thousands die each year from the use and misuse of prescription drugs alone.
Thousands of Australian doctors want to do better – and undergo specialised training in addition to their conventional medical training to become Integrative Medicine doctors.
Integrative Medicine Doctors typically embrace prevention as a first principle of healthcare, provide longer and deeper consultations to understand root causes of illness, and are trained in lifestyle, nutritional and other safe and sustainable modalities to expand their conventional medical options. They combine quality conventional medicine with safe and effective complementary options to restore health and reduce unnecessary medical treatments and costs.
Integrative Medicine doctors are doctors first and foremost, and subject to all the regulations and obligations of every doctor in Australia. Their additional skills allow them to pick up where conventional medical care is unable to help patients, where medicine has caused harm, or where patients choose to move to medical care beyond the conventional Medicare-funded options.
New Regulations Would Segregate Integrative Medicine Doctors
The consequences of this MBA enquiry may lead to a first step that threatens the existence of Integrative Medicine in Australia and sets the stage for draconian and unwarranted restrictions on these doctors in the care of their patients. Not because it is unsafe, but simply because it is not “conventional”.
If these regulations are passed unchanged, your family’s access to Integrative Medicine doctors may be lost. Forever. A million Australian families could lose the doctors of their choice. Your right to have a health practitioner prescribe a compound for your special needs is also under threat.
The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) was established by COAG to ensure that doctors practice safely and ethically, and has established good practice guidelines to achieve this. If doctors do not follow those guidelines, they risk sanctions and de-registration. All Doctors currently enjoy that protection.
The true goal of the MBA is to protect Australians by catching and sanctioning unsafe and harmful doctors. Integrative Medicine has been dragged into this without any justification or evidence of harm. Simply because the Board believes it is not “conventional”.
The Board did not even talk with the Integrative Medicine community and their patients before releasing this ill-conceived mishmash to the public for feedback. Option one is no change. Option two is segregating integrative medical doctors and imposing a different set of guidelines for them.
Integrative medical doctors think that there should only be
ONE set of guidelines for ALL doctors.
Have Your Say!
Let the Medical Board of Australia know what you think.
Tell them why they should leave your doctors to practise as they already do.
Oppose the introduction of regulations that could decimate Integrative Medicine and remove your own choice of your doctor.
Make Your Submission Today – Latest by May 12
Convince the Medical Board of Australia by writing a submission to them that Integrative Medicine doctors should be rewarded not penalised.
- Respond to the MBA at www.medicalboard.gov.au, and search for “complementary medicine”.
- Choose “option one” (do not introduce new regulations) and share your story on successful Integrative Healthcare.
- Here is a suggested format for your submission (2 page max)
Advocate for Integrative Healthcare
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The rise in childhood disease signals a need for preventative healthcare.
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