Push to keep massage therapy private health rebate

Good health: Massage therapist Jan Crombie supports a push to retain the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy.

Good health: Massage therapist Jan Crombie supports a push to retain the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy.

MASSAGE therapy would be out of reach for many without the private health insurance rebate.

That's the view of Hermitage Massage's Jan Crombie.

The review of the federal government rebate on private health insurance for natural therapies is examining the evidence of clinical efficacy, cost effectiveness, safety and quality of 17 natural therapies.

The Association of Massage Therapists has launched a petition calling on the government to retain the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy.

Mrs Crombie encouraged people to support the push to retain the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy.

"It would affect my livelihood quite a lot," she said about a rebate cut.

"The clients wouldn't be able to afford to pay."

Mrs Crombie said ultimately their health would be impacted and people would use the health system in a different way.

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said any decision about access to government private health insurance rebates for natural therapies needed to take in "a wide range of factors for consideration".

She said taxpayers received the private health rebate based on their entire policy, so it was not as simple as turning off the tap for one type of treatment.

"It's important to remember Labor launched this broader review of natural therapies as part of their multi-billion dollar raid on private health insurance rebates in Government - it was never about health outcomes for patients.

"We therefore need to make sure Labor's plan to cut funding for people using natural therapies doesn't end up having a negative impact for all consumers instead."

Association of Massage Therapy secretary Rebecca Barnett said a move to axe the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy could cripple the industry and place financial strain on an already struggling healthcare system.

"The majority of our members are small business owners," she said.

"Axeing the rebate will not only impose a greater financial burden on clients but also threaten the viability of many therapists' businesses."

The petition can be accessed right here.

The natural therapies review will be released soon.

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