Controversy & Confusion as Safer Care in Australia Claims Expert Panel on Manipulation in Children was "Advisory Only" & Not to Make Recommendations

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Controversy & Confusion as Safer Care in Australia Claims Expert Panel on Manipulation in Children was "Advisory Only" & Not to Make Recommendations

Despite this, Safer Care Claims Recommendations Consistent with the Deliberations of the Panel

Controversy and confusion has arisen following the release of Safer Care's long awaited and highly anticipated so called "independent report" on the safety and efficacy of spinal manipulation in children under 12.

According to various reports, some members of the panel are concerned that the recommendations released by Safer Care are not what the expert panel recommended - specifically Safer Care's recommendation to ban spinal manipulation in children under 12.

Safer Care's recommendation to impose the ban on children was made even though the inquiry (described in the report as EXTENSIVE) found "very little evidence of patient harm" occurring in Australia.

In particular they wrote:

"there were no patient complaints or practitioner notifications that arose from significant harm to a child following spinal manipulation."

In fact, they found only three case reports alleging harm from spinal manipulation, none of them were in Australia and the manipulations weren't performed by chiropractors. Making this nonsense even more bizarre is that the very rules related to what constitutes acceptable research evidence in Australia DOES NOT INCLUDE CASE STUDIES.

Despite this Safer Care concluded:

"This does not mean spinal manipulation in children is not associated with any risk of any adverse effects."

Their basis for this was the identification of "transient or minor adverse events" despite the fact that the "prevalence was very low".

Then - based on ZERO evidence - Safer Care claims that despite the "very low" prevalence of these minor and transient effects they are "possibly more common in very young children".

Once the Safer Care report with its questionable recommendations was in hand, it was then sent to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) for their meeting on October 31, 2019 which referred the finding and recommendations of the review to the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) for further consideration and next steps.

It is believed that there is an attempt to get all the health ministers throughout Australia to adopt the recommendation and institute the ban country wide.

According to their website:

The COAG Health Council (CHC) and its advisory body, the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC), provide a mechanism for the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government and state and territory governments to discuss matters of mutual interest concerning health policy, services and programs.

However, in response to questions on this issue Professor Euan Wallace AM the Chief Executive Officer of Safer Care stated:

"The COAG Health Council and its advisory council, the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council are not government entities. The Councils are a cooperative forum made up of Australia’s nine Health Ministers or health department heads. The Councils are not established by legislation."

Read that again.

None of these entities attacking the chiropractic care of children and attempting to impose a ban are even government entities - thus they are accountable to no one.

It gets worse.

When asked about reports that some members of the panel are concerned that the recommendation released to ban spinal manipulation in children under 12 were not what the Panel recommended, Professor Wallace stated:

"The information you have been provided is inaccurate. The panel was, as you are aware, an advisory panel. That is to provide advice to Safer Care Victoria in its review of spinal manipulation in children under 12. Throughout the review process the panel provided high quality advice based on their broad and diverse expertise. The membership of the panel is a matter on the public record. The panel’s role was not to make recommendations. That was solely the role of Safer Care Victoria. The Review’s findings and recommendations were consistent with the final deliberations of the panel. Thus, the findings and recommendations made in the Review are those of Safer Care Victoria, provided as advice to the Victorian Minister for Health and CHC. They are not the Minister’s recommendations. The Minister has no involvement in the writing of the report. She was provided the report ahead of submission to CHC, consistent with her role as the Minister leading the agenda item."

The Chronicle also contacted COAG and asked what the possible outcomes from the AHMAC were and why didn't the COAG make a decision instead of referring it to the AHMAC?

According to Barbara Levings, the Secretary for the COAG Health Council:

"The COAG Health Council frequently refer items to AHMAC for action and advice to achieve a more detailed response. Until AHMAC have had an opportunity to consider the report more fully I cannot comment on what the outcome will be. At this stage I can’t comment on the process for the AHMAC review. I am not sure when AHMAC will report back to COAG Health Council."

Keep in mind that according to Professor Wallace - none of these organizations are government entities even though their web address are .gov.

They also told The Chronicle that this means that they are not subject to Freedom of Information requests.

Well played Australia. Well played.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the government inquiry through Safer Care received over 27,000 public submissions. It is our understanding that no government inquiry in the history of the chiropractic profession anywhere in the world has ever received that many positive consumer responses regarding chiropractic care.

CLICK HERE for more on this debacle

McCoy Press