5,000,000 Ontarians expect to visit a Naturopathic Doctor under new, effective regulation

May 22, 2006

3 Min Read
5,000,000 Ontarians expect to visit a Naturopathic Doctor under new, effective regulation

Recommended regulation of Naturopathic Doctors will protect both public
and profession: Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors

TORONTO, May 19 /CNW/ - Fully 40% of Ontarians - or 5,000,000 potential
patients - say they are likely to see a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) in the next
few years, according to recent public opinion research done for the Coalition
for Naturopathic Medicine.

The likelihood of using a Naturopathic Doctor in the future jumps
significantly to almost 7-out-of-10 as people learn more about NDs' education
and training and about the proposed new regulation. For example, 69% of
Ontarians are more likely to use a Naturopathic Doctor after knowing that, to
register, an ND must pass rigorous regulatory board exams that are
standardized across North America.

Nearly one-fifth (18%) of Ontarians say they have visited a Naturopathic
Doctor (ND) for treatment of an illness or for illness prevention counselling.

"With that many Ontarians wanting to use the services of a Naturopathic
Doctor, it is absolutely essential that the province bring in effective
regulation of the profession," Ruth Ann Baron, ND, President of the Ontario
Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND) and spokesperson for the Coalition,
said in response to the release on May 19 of the recommendation by the Health
Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) that regulation of
Naturopathic Doctors be moved under the Regulated Health Practitioners' Act
(RHPA). "We have been functioning under legislation that was written in 1925,
so the current regulation is simply too antiquated and toothless for the 21st
century. If the province adopts it, the HPRAC recommendation will provide real
protection to both the public and our profession. It can't happen fast enough,
as far as NDs are concerned.

"As we told both HPRAC and the Minister of Health, we have some
reservations about the practicality of the recommended joint college with
homeopaths but NDs are pragmatic people. Right now, a joint college seems to
be the quickest, most efficient means of achieving the regulation that NDs
have been requesting for years so we will make every effort to make the
proposed college a success."
A copy of the OAND submission to HPRAC and collateral materials can be
found at www.oand.org.
A province-wide public opinion poll conducted by Innovative Research
Group between March 17th and 23rd suggests that Ontarians are ready and
willing to use healthcare services offered by Naturopathic Doctors:

- 72% of respondents say they are likely to use an ND's physical
medicine services;
- 59% are likely to use clinical nutrition services;
- 53% are likely to use prevention and lifestyle counseling; and
- 50% are likely to use herbal medicines.

In addition, 6-in-10 respondents (62%) say that licensed NDs should have
the right to call themselves "Doctor."

Eight-in-10 Ontarians say it is very important to public safety to allow
only licensed and regulated Naturopathic Doctors (those who have graduated
from an accredited institution, who have passed licensing exams and who remain
in good standing with the regulatory board) to call themselves a Naturopathic

"We are anxious to see the actual legislation that evolves from the HPRAC
recommendation," Ms. Baron said. "We are optimistic that it will address all
the public's and our members' concerns."

The full polling questionnaire and response data can be found at

The Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors represents the interests
of approximately 80% of Ontario's 699 registered Naturopathic Doctors. It is a
founding member of the Coalition for Naturopathic Medicine.

The Coalition for Naturopathic Medicine was established in August 2005 as
an alliance of OAND, the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy - Naturopathy,
Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors and the Canadian College of
Naturopathic Medicine, to advocate for more effective regulation to govern
Naturopathic Medicine in Ontario.

The study was conducted by Innovative Research Group
(www.innovativeresearch.ca) through random digit dialing telephone interviews
among a representative sample of 602 English speaking Ontarians, 18 years of
age or older. The interviews were conducted between March 17th and March 23rd,
2006. Up to eight call-backs were made in the case of non-response. Using data
from Statistics Canada, the results were weighted according to region, age and
gender to ensure a sample representative of the entire Ontario adult
population. In the end, the maximum margin of error obtained for a sample of
602 respondents is (+/-) 4.0%, 19 times out of 20.

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