On July 1, 2015, Naturopathic Doctors across Ontario officially moved to be regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). The RHPA already governs other health care professionals such as medical doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, and midwives. Up until this point, the Naturopathic profession has been regulated under the Drugless Practitioners Act (DPA). The new regulatory body for Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) in Ontario is The College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO).
Naturopathic Doctors have provided a variety of lab tests for their patients with the help of Medical Doctors (MDs) for many years. Under the RHPA, NDs are now able to independently order 194 lab tests on blood, breath, hair, tissue/discharge, saliva, stool, and urine. Here is a list of tests your ND can request for you.
However, NDs will no longer be able to collect blood samples in-office, with the exception of certain point-of-care tests like blood glucose and blood typing. NDs will also no longer be able to access blood tests through companies outside of Ontario. Ontario laboratories are currently working hard to fill the gap so that NDs will be able to continue to order the tests that provide you with the best care.
One thing that has not changed is that no blood test is covered by OHIP when requisitioned through your ND.
With this change in legislation, Naturopathic Doctors have now gained some prescribing rights. Each Naturopathic Doctor in Ontario is required to complete an additional course and examination if they wish to utilize those prescribing rights. Dr. Raymond, ND, is proud to announce that she has studied hard and passed the exam! The prescribing rights include supplements (for example, vitamin D3 in quantities greater than 1000 IU) and some medications (for example, thyroid hormones).
A huge thank you to all the patients who have taken part in lobbying the Ontario government to help Naturopathic Doctors continue to do their jobs, along with the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors for all their hard work.
[Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Dr. Dielle Raymond, ND