I sent the following to the NSW Department of Health in May 2008 and have had no response. It appears to be strong evidence of links between the alternative medicine industry and the NSW Department of Health:
Ms Deborah Picone
NSW Department of Health
Dear Ms Picone
This email is about 2 issues:
1. Links between the Department of Health and the Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT)
2. Lack of DOH action on a matter of public health (promotion of homeopathy for reversing diabetes)
At about 3.35pm Friday 2 May I phoned NSW Health 9391 9000 with a complaint about homeopathy and was transferred to an outside agency, the Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT) which promotes homeopathy. I was astounded and disturbed by this.
I phoned 9391 9000 again and asked to speak to you or your PA and was told by switch operator Susie neither of you was available.
The switch operators gave me the runaround. Susie (~3.37pm) transferred me to Rita (~3.39) who told me the that the College of Natural Therapies was often very helpful and offered to transfer me to them again. Rita said another switchboard operator had transferred me to the College earlier. Rita wouldn’t give me the name of that operator. She then said Mary Crum was the NSW Health officer normally dealing with natural therapies but she was on leave and her number was 9391 9000 and I could ring later. I asked Rita (3.42pm) to tell me the name of her supervisor. She wouldn’t and made me wait for about seven minutes. At 3.49 I was finally transferred to Bill Hiler (9391 9459) who said he was in Policy and part of his role was advising on the clinical aspects of homeopathy.
I explained to Mr Hiler that I had two issues now. First the fact that I was transferred out of the Department to ACNT. He said he couldn’t deal with that. I then outlined the first reason for my call – Tweed Shire Council advertising homeopathy. The Council newsletter, distributed to all letterboxes and available on the web, had just advertised talks at two local libraries by a homeopath Jenny Carlan. The ad on page 2 of the Tweed Link newsletter indicated homeopathy may reverse Type 2 diabetes and other illnesses.
Mr Hiler said he would do nothing about the second issue either and told me I had to make a complaint to the Department of Fair Trading. He said DOH had no power to intervene or suggest to the TSC that it cancel the proposed talk.
I asked Mr Hiler for Val Johnson’s phone number. He asked his assistant Rebecca for it but he wouldn’t give it to me. After another wait he then transferred me to Val.
I’d appreciate a call or written response from you on these 2 issues.