Monday, June 06, 2005

No insurance for bogus therapies

Australian health funds have been heavily advertising on television about the range of alternative therapies that they will now provide cover for. One advertisement shows two men in traditional chinese dress rushing out of the back of an ambulance to "help" a man injured on the side of the road.

Rather than competing for customers based on which fund can provide the most outrageous and worthless treatment, I'd like to see a fund advertise that they can keep their premiums low because they only cover proven treatments. That's a fund that would certainly get my business.

Australia could learn a thing or two from the recent decision in Switzerland. The Swiss government has determined that homeopathy, herbal medicine, traditional chinese medicine, neural therapy and anthroposophic medicine would no longer be covered under basic health insurance. These treatments have failed to meet the health insurance laws that demand therapies be cost effective, suitable and actually work.

Heaven forbid, imagine the gall of the Swiss government to actually insist that a medical treatment work before being covered by insurance. It's a pity the Australian insurers don't follow the Swiss lead.

How can claiming hundreds of dollars for water (aka homeopathic treatment) from a health insurance fund not be considered insurance fraud? Surely, claiming to have the mythical chiropractic subluxations corrected would also qualify as insurance fraud.

"There is only one truth. How we interpret that truth is called belief."
"The presence of belief, does not indicate the existence of truth."

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