Save Private Health Insurance for Yoga before it ends in April 2019
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In April 2019 the government health insurance rebate for yoga will be removed unless we convince Health Minister Greg Hunt to change his mind. Once this rebate is gone, it will be very difficult to get back.
More than the rebate is at stake; this is about whether science agrees that yoga works. The government's rationale for cutting the rebate is that science does not show yoga works, even though its own National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) study says (p4): “For... yoga, there was evidence, which was graded as low to moderate quality, that... it may improve certain health outcomes for a limited number of clinical conditions" and that there is 'weak' evidence to show yoga is effective for depression.
As yoga practitioners, we know how yoga can help with many health issues, we also know there is a lot of scientific evidence that was not looked at in the NHMRC review and that it is difficult to do the required blind, randomised, controlled studies on people doing yoga. Ironically, the NHMRC is also supporting clinical trials for musculoskeletal pain that use yoga for persisting low back pain.
So, the government wants to cut rebates for yoga, even though its own report found that it works for depression and other clinical conditions and it is being used in other clinical trials.
For you and your students, and those with health issues, most needing to be able to claim yoga on private health insurance, and to support the argument that yoga works, please sign the petition and persuade Greg Hunt not to remove coverage for yoga from private health insurance.
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