What will NDs be talking to political candidates about?

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 15 October 2019

The federal election will be held on October 21, 2019. There is no better time to connect with the candidates to articulate what is important to you in regards to health care moving forward.

The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) will be focusing on three core issues with the following questions to candidates:

  1. Appropriate prescribing authority - Will you support removing the barrier that prevents provinces and territories from choosing to allow naturopathic doctors to prescribe, authorize and administer selected drugs containing legally controlled substances to ensure the optimal treatment of patients? For example, naturopathic doctors with prescribing authority can treat hormone imbalances by prescribing transdermal progesterone, but not other forms (eg. oral progesterone), or other hormones like testosterone, because of its Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
  2. Authorizing cannabis for medical use - Will you support amending regulations to ensure naturopathic doctors are able to authorize cannabis for medicinal purposes? Currently there is a regulatory contradiction that excludes NDs from the list of health care providers that can authorize cannabis but permits NDs to prescribe a drug containing cannabis for medicinal purposes.
  3. Naturopathic care as an insured health service option for veterans - Will you help ensure that care by qualified naturopathic doctors is an option in the spectrum of insured health care services made available to Canadian veterans? Naturopathic doctors are often actively sought by veterans for mental and emotional care as well as pain management with non-pharmacologic therapies the help them face health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, sleep disturbances, opioid dependencies and chronic pain. Because naturopathic care is not normally an insured health service option available to veterans, they shoulder the costs associated with naturopathic treatment.
  4. Naturopathic care is an insured health service option for Indigenous populations - Will you help ensure that care by qualified naturopathic doctors is an option in the spectrum of insured health care services made available to Canada's Indigenous people? Naturopathic medicine shares many of the same philosophies and approaches to health as traditional Indigenous healers: treating the whole person, understanding the connection between body, mind, and spirit, and the use of plant based medicines. Many Indigenous people want to access naturopathic care and have called on the federal government to amend the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program to provide for naturopathic services.

Each party has announced their respective visions for what healthcare in Canada will be if elected. If you would like a copy of the summary sheet created by the CAND please contact the office.

Take some time to educate yourself on what the individual parties stand for. And of course...take the time to vote!

Now I would love to hear from you! What would you like to see change OR stay the same in the Canadian healthcare system? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

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