Ontario’s naturopathic doctors (NDs) are provincially regulated primary care providers trained in evidence-based natural and conventional therapies. OAND efforts are focused on contributing to the growing respect and understanding of the value of naturopathic medicine, ensuring that NDs are able to make an increased contribution to addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare system, and ensuring that Ontario patients have access to high quality naturopathic care.
The new Naturopathy Act, 2007, is the result of many years of effort by the naturopathic profession to achieve a strong new foundation in Ontario. The Naturopathy Act, which is currently being implemented, moves the regulation of the profession from an antiquated framework in place since the 1920s.
The OAND continues with efforts to help NDs be more successful in practice, and improve access to naturopathic care for Ontarians.
This new foundation for the profession comes at a time when Ontario’s health care system is facing major challenges, and Ontario’s NDs offer important solutions. The OAND works to build awareness that NDs are clinically trained to play a larger role in the delivery of primary care, and to help save precious healthcare dollars through unique expertise in addressing preventable risk factors, managing or even reversing chronic disease, and helping patients to reduce use of expensive pharmaceuticals.
The Naturopathy Act holds the potential for Ontarians to get better access to safe and effective naturopathic care. Achieving this potential requires good regulations, and a regulatory college that understands that patients want their naturopathic doctor to practice safely and ethically to the full extent of their training and capability. OAND’s success moving naturopathic doctors into the same regulatory framework as other healthcare professions removes barriers to collaboration, and creates new opportunities for Ontarians to access naturopathic care.