Ontario's Naturopathic Doctors: Providing Greater Access to Primary Healthcare for Ontarians

TORONTO, July 1, 2015 /CNW/ - On behalf of Naturopathic Doctors across Ontario, the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND) is pleased to announce that after eight years of discussions with the Ontario government, the Naturopathy Act, 2007 was proclaimed today.

Naturopathic Medicine has been a regulated health profession in Ontario since 1925 under the Drugless Practitioners Act. With proclamation of the Naturopathy Act, 2007 Naturopathic Doctors become a self-regulated healthcare profession under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA); similar to other health care professions such as physicians, chiropractors, pharmacists and dentists.

"This is a long-awaited day for the profession of Naturopathic Medicine in Ontario," said Dr. Alfred Hauk, Naturopathic Doctor and Chair of the OAND.  "Proclamation will maximize the contribution of Naturopathic Doctors to the health and wellbeing of Ontarians, provide added protections and safety to the public; it signals the proven safety and efficacy of Naturopathic Medicine and assists to ensure greater inter-professional collaboration."

Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, MPP St. Paul's and Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care reiterated Dr. Hauk's comments by saying:   "Today is truly a milestone for Naturopathic Medicine in the province of Ontario.  Our government respects alternative health therapies and the important services Naturopathic Doctors provide patients.  Regulating the profession of naturopathy is part of Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care, which puts people and patients first, provides better access to quality health services, and protects those services for generations to come. Bringing naturopathy under more robust legislation will ensure high-quality care and brings important safeguards to protect patients". 

Naturopathic Doctors treat the root causes of disease and address preventable risk factors, using a wide range of science- and evidence-based, natural and conventional therapies. Naturopathic Medicine is a general primary healthcare profession.  To practice Naturopathic Medicine in Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors must hold a university undergraduate degree in addition to receiving four years of formal training at an accredited school for Naturopathic Medicine.  As well, Naturopathic Doctors must write two licensing exams before being allowed to practice.  In order to remain in good standing with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors are required to have 70 hours of approved continuing education courses every three-year cycle.

Effective today, Naturopathic Doctors will be regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO), an arm's-length regulatory body of the government of Ontario with an independent Registrar and Council.  CONO's main responsibility is to regulate the profession of Naturopathic Medicine in the public interest.  

The Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors 
The OAND represents the professional interests of Ontario's active, registered Naturopathic Doctors.  The OAND aims to advance the expertise and contribution of the profession while promoting Naturopathic Medicine and its benefits to Ontarians. 

More information about Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathic Doctors and the OAND can be found on the OAND's website at www.oand.org.

SOURCE Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2015/07/01/20150701_C5139_PDF_EN_431756.pdf

For further information: Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors: Maggie Head, Senior Manager, Policy, Government and Media Relations, 416-233-2001 x228 or mhead@oand.org

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www.oand.org

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