Aussie taxpayers set to fund courses in quackery like homeopathy

It looks like Aussie taxpayers are going to have the pleasure of funding coursed in quackery.

Profit-making colleges would receive taxpayer funding to teach students unproven alternative remedies such as homeopathy, flower essence therapy and iridology under the Abbott government’s proposed higher education reforms.

The move comes as the government considers stripping the private health insurance rebate from any policies covering natural therapies not supported by evidence.

As well as deregulating university fees and cutting university funding, the government’s higher education reforms would extend funding to private colleges, TAFEs and sub-bachelor degree programs at a cost of $820 million over three years.

Accredited private colleges would become eligible for grants of $6323 a year for each student enrolled in courses such as homeopathy, naturopathy and mind body medicine. This is more than public universities would receive per student studying law, economics, languages or the humanities under the new funding structure.  

The Australasian College of Natural Therapies, for example, would be eligible for subsidies for its Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy), which teaches students homeopathy, iridology and Bach flower therapy.

It would be “absolutely unacceptable” to give taxpayer money to such colleges, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of NSW John Dwyer said.

“TEQSA [the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency] has dropped the ball by approving these courses,” Professor Dwyer, who is also president of Friends of Science in Medicine, said. “It should de-accredit colleges teaching homeopathy and other pseudo-scientific treatments as if they are credible health options for Australians.”

It is truly bizarre that there are even courses teaching this mumbo-jumbo.

What next course in basket weaving or hip hop…oh wait we already did that.


– Sydney Morning Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.