I’ve seen a couple of articles recently that give me faith that medical science – and medical sense – are causing a reversal of some worrying trends.
Treatments that don’t work
In 2012 the previous Australian federal government asked the Australian chief medical officer for a review of “natural” therapies that were – and still are – covered by Medicare and many private insurance policies. Those treatments included naturopathy, aromatherapy, ear candling, crystal therapy, flower essences, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, reiki and rolfing.
This was welcomed by anyone who approves of taxpayer money being spent on treatments for which there is clinical evidence.
The Australian newspaper has posted a couple of articles in recent days (which I haven’t linked because they’re behind paywalls) about leaks that that review will be released soon, and it will not be good for those alternative therapies. Homeopathy got an early knocking already last year. Bravo, I say. This letter to the Australian agrees.
It’s a shame that practices like acupuncture, chiropractic, and Chinese medicine were explicitly omitted from the review, but it’s still a very good step.
Anti-vaccine movement declines
In other good news, the Guardian reports that “the income and membership of the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network (AVN) has significantly diminished in the past three years”. Both media and governments are treating the AVN appropriately (that is, they’re not pretending that theirs is an informed or balanced view), and people are responding.
Now for immunisation rates to climb back up.