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Who will you vote for?

I don’t normally get political but with the election on Saturday 2nd July there is something you should all know before you vote –

family welfare cut if you vote labour

2016 Labor Party Health Policy

Bill Shorten and the Labor Party are

“Ceasing the Rebate for Natural Therapies”

If Labor is elected what will it mean?

1. Private health rebates and insurance for Natural Therapies may be reduced or stopped and the average cost of a visit to a Practitioner could increase by approximately $20

2. More pressure on the underperforming and overburdened Medicare and health care system.

3. The Natural Therapies industry is represented by approximately 25,000 small to medium businesses – this policy is highly likely to have a negative effect on employment numbers in the industry throughout Australia.

A vote for Labor can lead to a Government that takes away medical insurance funding and support for Natural Therapies.

Why are Natural Therapies and Medicines important to Australia?


Two out of three Australians have used complementary or Natural Medicines over the past 12 months and approximately 42% of these use Complementary Medicines to prevent or manage chronic, high priority health problems. Complementary Medicines are not only effective in a range of chronic health conditions, but they can offer a genuine opportunity to reduce disease burden in a cost effective manner.  In addition, the industry that produces Complementary and Natural Medicines generates $4.3 billion in sales per year, representing 6,000 highly skilled jobs and 73 TGA approved manufacturing plants.

Natural Therapies is a growth industry delivering cost effective health outcomes and significant economic benefits for Australia.

If this is a concern for you, speak to your local Labor candidate and let them know how you feel. To find out who your candidate is visit: or

Better yet look into the Health Australia Party which will be representing your rights of access to Natural Medicine

Something to think about as well are the following facts –

A milestone report on antimicrobial resistance, which includes plenty of unpublished data, has been released by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

“8 alarming findings on Australian antimicrobial prescribing”

do you need antibiotics?

  1. In 2014 nearly half the population (46%) was prescribed at least one antimicrobial (PBS data)
  2. The rate of antimicrobial prescriptions in GP consultations remained constant between 2009 and 2014 (MedicineInsight data based on 182 practices)
  3. More than half of patients recorded as having colds or flu and receiving an antibiotic had no need for one (MedicineInsight)
  4. The antibiotic prescribing rate for acute tonsillitis, sinusits, otitis media and bronchitis massively exceeds the acceptable rate based on guidelines – e.g. 90% of patients receive an antibiotic for bronchitis when the acceptable rate is no more than 30% (MedicineInsight)
  5. One in five prescriptions in residential aged care is prescribed for residents with no sign of infection
  6. On any given day in an Australian hospital in 2014, 38.4% of patients were given an antimicrobial and of those nearly one quarter were inappropriate
  7. In 2014, 40% of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis in hospital was inappropriate due to long duration, incorrect dose or frequency
  8. Australian hospitals have the highest rate in the world of vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus faecium

These facts were in an article written for doctors in the Medical Observer of which I subscribe. It was followed by the following comment :

We GPs need to lift our game on antimicrobial prescribing.

But are they? I haven’t noticed any reduction in antibiotic prescribing among doctors have you? (except for a few rare exceptions who we will always refer our patients to.)

That is why we need Natural Therapists! We can help with non medical but evidence based ways to treat mild infections, colds/coughs/flus. In fact look at this study on the ear oil we sell –



Some facts about antibiotics and ear infections: 78-81% of cases resolve themselves without antibiotics. Only 6% less children had reduced ear pain after antibiotics compared to placebo (this means for every 16 children only 1 will be helped by antibiotics). Antibiotics have been shown to help children under 2 with ear infections in both ears. Increasingly we are finding bacteria resistant to antibiotics so a watch and wait approach is favoured. Giving analgesics for the pain can be a good idea if necessary.

A HERBAL EAR OIL containing Calendula, St. John’s Wort, Mullein, Garlic and Lavender was shown in a clinical trial to have the following results.


  • Herbal ear oil alone, 5 drops in the affected ears 3 x a day (group A)
  • Herbal ear oil + oral amoxicillin (antibiotic) 80mg/kg dose (group B)
  • Topical anaesthetic alone (group C)
  • Topical anaesthetic + topical amoxicillin 5 drops 3 x a day (group D)


  • Herbal Ear oil group A had less ear pain by day 2 & 3 that group C
  • Substantial reduction in pain within 30 minutes of treatment in all 4 groups
  • All patients symptoms resolved in 3 days
  • Antibiotic treatment alongside herbal ear oil did not improve outcome compared to herbal oil alone

Study by Sarrell, Cohen & Kahan 2003

So we can see that herbal ear oil on its own worked and it made no difference if antibiotics were used. Taking a concurrent herbal tonic can help to support immunity and reduce mucus and inflammation. A couple of things to consider: if there have been more than 3 ear infections in 6 months then you need to consider environmental (smoke, dust, mould) and dietary allergens or irritants as well as immune function. When fluid remains trapped in the inner ear after an infections has resolved it can lead to reinfection and hearing loss which can impact social and language development and learning. Chronic ear infections can have long term implications including permanent hearing loss and need to be treated seriously. More rarely a suppurative ear infection is when the ear drum has burst and puss filled fluid fills the middle ear. This can lead to serious complications including facial paralysis, brain abscess and permanent hearing loss. Antibiotics may not protect against this and needs to managed with the help of an ENT specialist. If you are not happy with your doctor’s treatment of your child’s chronic ear infections then get a second opinion or see an ENT specialist. And make an appointment to see me so we can work together to support your child’s health.

This is just one tiny study out of hundreds if not thousands of studies out there backing up the evidence that Natural Therapies do work. Don’t be fooled, this is not the governments way of helping you to improve your health by protecting you against modalities that don’t work. This is the goverments way of removing your right to make your own choices about YOUR HEALTH… BUT!!

WE can work together with Orthodox Medicine! That is the missing link that Bill Shorten seems to have missed with his dissapointing proposition.

Happy Voting!

Fin Mackenzie


BHSc(CompMed), AdvDipNat, DNut, DRM, ATMS

Naturopath & Director

Green Door Health

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