The Naturopathy Act creates the opportunity for NDs to play an increasingly significant role in addressing some of the critical issues facing the healthcare system in Ontario. NDs are primary care providers, and have the potential to become more central in the prevention and treatment of many conditions, such as chronic diseases like diabetes, and childhood obesity.
More than 100,000 Ontario’s visited an ND last year, valuing their focus on prevention and more natural approaches to health. NDs working at their full scope can reduce unnecessary emergency room visits, provide alternatives to pharmaceuticals, and increase patient access to care. As well, through inter-professional collaboration and advanced practice, NDs can provide their unique expertise in the treatment that patients who prefer a more natural approach to health may not be able to receive from other professions.
The training and current regulation of NDs prepares them for primary care practice. Having studied pharmacology, conventional and complementary diagnostics, NDs are well prepared to work collaboratively with other healthcare providers, and safely integrate the use of natural therapies with conventional treatments.