LEETON massage therapist Fran Artese is concerned the federal government will permanently scrap rebates for patients who use her services.
She said patients were already suffering from proposed changes that could eventually heavily impact on her business.
The proposal comes after the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) completed a draft review of the evidence for 17 natural therapies currently covered under private health insurance.
Massage therapy was included in the review.
As a result, the Association of Massage Therapists (AMT) is concerned Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley will remove massage therapy from health insurance cover packages.
Miss Artese said there were examples of patients suffering as a result of the proposal.
“I know of a senior couple that would come in and have a massage because their health insurance provided a certain amount for them to do so,” she said.
“However, now they will probably be limited to about three per year.
“That not only affects them, but it does affect my business.”
AMT maintains its position that a solid evidential basis underpins the efficacy of massage therapy in the treatment of a range of conditions.
Miss Artese agreed, but said some doctors don’t necessarily agree with the benefits involved.
“A lot of people aren’t aware they can claim these services,” she said.
“There’s so many benefits to massage therapy, whether it’s relaxation to help with tension, headaches, or helping with muscles.
“It does work. While this could affect what I do, it’s also about the patients.
“I don’t want anyone to be suffering.”
According to the AMT, massage therapists are “uniquely placed” to provide highly individualised and patient-centred care.
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