Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are primary health care practitioners. That is to say; they can treat the same conditions as a family doctor and are upheld to very high standard by governing bodies. While their diagnosis process is very similar to a conventional medical doctor, their treatment methods diverge significantly. Whereas a conventional doctor uses prescription drugs and surgeries to treat disease, a naturopathic doctor is interested in promoting wellness though diet and lifestyle counselling, nutrition therapy, botanical medicine and possibly acupuncture.

NDs practicing in Ontario have completed a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education and rigorous entry exams prior to registration. They are required to have a minimum of 3 years of premedical studies at an accredited University at which point they are required to complete a 4 year full time program that includes over 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. Finally they have to complete NPLEX examinations and maintain a constant enrollment in continuing education. NDs are arguably the most intensely trained medical professionals in Ontario for these reasons.

NDs in Ontario are regulated by the Ontario Board of Drugless Therapy - Naturopathy (BDDT-N) but very soon they will be regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario and join other primary colleagues regulated in Ontario under the Regulated Health Professions Act.


In the LAB by Pascal Golz licensed under CC BY 2.0

However....

This transition has not been without a few hurdles and currently there are a number of extremely valuable laboratory tests to which NDs may lose access. For the last 50 years, NDs have had full access to laboratory testing (such as Life Labs, Gamma Dynacare etc). Laboratory tests such as those for environmental toxins, metabolic testing, and detailed hormone testing are at risk. Patients will also be extremely limited in their access to testing for cancer risk or aging factors. Furthermore, sample collection has often occurred in the privacy of an ND visit, and now will require longer wait-times in a laboratory setting in order to retrieve a blood sample. These are just needless strains upon an already strained system.

If you have concerns and would like to voice them to the Ministry of Health, we encourage you to contact them as they ARE interested in hearing from YOU - the people that stand to benefit the most from retaining access to useful laboratory testing and procedures.

Below you will find a stock letter that can be copied/pasted to an e-mail or document. All mail should be sent to the Ministry of Health at RegulatoryProjects@ontario.ca and the College of Naturopaths at info@collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca


Regulatory Policy Unit Consultation
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
12th Floor
56 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S3


Naturopathic doctors have been regulated in Ontario under the Drugless Practitioner’s Act (DPA) since 1925. They have a ninety (90) year history of responsible patient care and patient safety and are effective primary care doctors.
The Naturopathy Act, which will move the naturopathic regulation under the RHPA, is scheduled to be proclaimed within the next few months. Currently, naturopathic doctors have access to both laboratory tests offered by Ontario labs and those offered outside of Ontario which include detailed hormone diagnostics, testing for environmental toxins, specialized cancer screening and many other tests.

As an Ontarian, I have chosen to see a naturopathic doctor for my health as I highly value the care I receive. I pay out of pocket for my care, including visits and laboratory testing, reducing the financial burden on the health care system in this province.

I have concerns over the proposed limitations to laboratory access and I urge you to:
  • Ensure continued access to laboratory tests that I am paying for out-of-pocket.
  • Protect my access to the range of laboratory tests offered by lab companies outside of Ontario.
  • Protect my right to choose the health care that I desire.
Please explain what my options are, if the access that I require to the laboratory testing recommended by my naturopathic doctor is no longer available to me.

Signature Date
Name:
Address: