Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Support for complementary health care.



Download PDFDownload PDF

Media Release The Hon Joe Hockey MP Minister for Small Business and Tourism

6 May 2003 03/079

SUPPORT FOR COMPLEMENTARY HEALTH CARE

The Federal Government is working to minimise the damage to the complementary health care industry and in particular the many small businesses caught up in the recall of Pan products.

After meeting with the Complimentary Health Care Council it was agreed to continue working to minimise the negative impact on health food stores, particularly on cash flows and stock supplies.

I have written to banks, landlords and other key stakeholders reminding them that the Pan recall was not something that a small business could have anticipated and asking that they do all that they can to help these businesses through this difficult time.

Discussions are continuing with the major distributors, who have given a commitment to expedite claims by small retailers for refunds on recalled products returned by consumers and refund all retailers as soon as practicable.

The Complimentary Health Care Council is anxious to avoid unnecessary damage to an industry that provides important care to many Australians.

That is why it was so disappointing to hear the recent comments by the NSW Premier Bob Carr who incredibly chose to attack complimentary health care and health food stores throughout Australia. Mr Carr said:

“Some of the therapies may work. Others are very very dubious and have a placebo effect. I mean it's not much more advanced than the medicine man hucksters of the last, of the nineteenth century. I mean what is in these alternative therapies even at the best of times?” (Lateline, 29/04/2003)

Ill-informed and alarmist comments will not help small retailers and Mr Carr displayed his lack of knowledge about the work of naturopaths, iridologists, herbalists, aromatherapists, nutritionists and others in the complimentary health care industry.

Mr Carr appears unaware that there is a wealth of scientific evidence and numerous clinical trials detailing the benefits of complimentary health care.

Consumers should take into consideration that some small retailers may have difficulty in meeting a rush on returns but that all returns with a receipt will be honoured. Those without proof of purchase may wish to contact the manufacturer directly for a refund.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe, 02 9929 9822

CMR03-093