Author: Dr. Quinte Naturopathic Centre on 6 July 2015
I am pleased to announce that effective July 1, 2015, Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario were moved from being regulated under the Drugless Practitioners Act to the Registered Health Professions Act (RHPA). The initiative to move the regulation of Naturopathy in Ontario began more than two decades ago. While the sudden proclamation date poses some transitional challenges, this change is a positive step forward.
It recognizes Naturopathic doctors as equal partners alongside other health professions and will ultimately enhance the quality of naturopathic care for patients.
Thank you so much to everyone who sent emails to the government showing your support of Naturopathic Medicine. Due to your collective efforts, the list of lab tests that Naturopathic Doctors can order was increased significantly from what was originally proposed.
We still have some work to do though.
The new regulations, for now, prevent Naturopathic doctors from performing in-office testing for certain tests. This means that while as a Naturopathic Doctor, I can sign a requisition for these tests, patients will be required to visit a licensed Ontario lab to have the test performed or use a take-home kit to perform the test themselves. The test we use that is most affected by this new regulation is the IgG food allergy finger prick.
Conventional blood draw testing will still be available at LifeLabs in Belleville, Picton, or Trenton.
There are also other regulations that will affect patients.
The new regulations require that all Naturopathic Doctors who wish to have access to certain substances have to write a Prescribing Therapeutics Exam. The first opportunity I will have to write this in-depth oral and written exam on prescription medications is in July, 2015.
Until I have successfully completed it, I am no longer able to administer B12 injections (oral prescriptions are still allowed) or prescribe vitamin D over 1000 IU. While I personally struggle with this requirement after safely administering these substances for the past 12 years, I must abide by the new regulations.
The upside of writing the exam is that it does allow for access to prescribing bio-identical and thyroid hormones, which we did not previously have. The hope of the profession is that completion of the exam will make it easier to further expand prescription rights in the future.
If you currently receive intravenous vitamin and mineral treatments at QNC you will receive a separate email regarding the new regulation changes.
The Quinte Naturopathic Centre team and I greatly appreciate your patience as we adjust to these changes. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. I will continue to keep you updated as I find out more information.
Dr. Michelle Durkin, ND
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