Opt out call for complementary medicine

Friends of Science in Medicine, founded by University of New South Wales emeritus professor John Dwyer, is distributing a form letter which it wants people to send to their insurer asking to be spared the cost of complementary health services.

The letter reads: “As a member of the fund I am disturbed to find that when purchasing extra cover I am obliged to pay for cover of pseudoscience-based interventions, namely complementary therapies such as homeopathy, naturopathy, iridology, chiropractic and acupuncture.

“Your offering such cover to the public gives these interventions unwarranted credibility. I wish to belong to a fund that allows those who do not believe in and do not want such controversial therapies to opt out of subsidising them.”

The letter says the promotion by health funds of “sound lifestyle