How much do complementary therapies cost?
Complementary therapists set their own fees for consultations. The cost can vary depending on the training and experience of the therapist, the length of the consultation, the treatment provided, and where you live.
Fees for a private complementary health therapist can range from about $60 to $200 per hour, which may not include the cost of herbal remedies, essential oils, nutritional supplements or other products. Some cancer centres provide free or subsidised complementary therapies to their patients.
Naturopaths, herbalists and homeopaths may dispense remedies that they mix for you, sell you pre-made nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplements, or refer you to a naturopathic dispensary to have a script made up. How much you have to pay for these products varies depending on the type of remedy and the ingredients, strength and quantity. Consider speaking to a few therapists to compare costs.
Complementary therapies are not covered by government-funded schemes such as Medicare or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). It is important to consider the cost of these therapies if you are thinking about using them.
If you have private health insurance, check whether you are eligible for a rebate on the cost of a consultation with a complementary therapist. Many therapies are not subsidised by private health insurance providers, due to lack of evidence for their effectiveness.
Most health funds also do not provide a rebate on the cost of any remedies or supplements that you buy.
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Dr David Joske, Clinical Haematologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and PathWest, Chairman and Founder Solaris Cancer Care Foundation, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The University of Western Australia, WA; Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA); Dr Robert Blum, Clinical Director, Cancer Services, Bendigo Health, NSW; Sally Brooks, Senior Pharmacist, Medicines Information, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Suzanne Grant, Senior Research Fellow, NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Prof Danforn Lim, Adjunct Professor and Advisory Board Member, NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, and Adjunct Professor, UTS, NSW; Christina Line, Statewide Services Senior Coordinator, Cancer Council WA; Jen McKenzie, Physiotherapist (Lymphoedema) and ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist, The McKenzie Clinic, QLD; Simone Noelker, Wellness Centre and Pastoral Care Manager, Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Nirzari Pandit, General Practitioner, RACGP Specific Interests Integrative Medicine Group, NSW; Georgie Pearson, Consumer; Cris Pirone, Counsellor, Cancer Council SA; Dr Elysia Thornton-Benko, Specialist General Practitioner, and UNSW Research Fellow, NSW; Kirsty Trebilcock, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA.
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