Scope of Practice for Naturopathic Doctor’s in Canada
The scope of practice for naturopathic doctors (ND) in Canada differs from province to province, as health care is regulated provincially. What determines the scope of practice for an ND as well as the regulation of terms, such as “Naturopathic Doctor”, are the provincial regulations and licensure. Much of the work for the provincial regulation of NDs as health care practitioners is achieved through provincial associations, colleges, and licensing/regulatory boards. The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) is the national body that supports these provincial regulatory efforts and works on behalf of NDs and the profession of naturopathic medicine nationwide.
Provinces that are currently regulated and licensed in Canada are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. These provinces have laws that regulate accredited naturopathic doctors, while many other provinces are working towards regulation. Every province and territory in Canada have practicing naturopathic doctors.
Find an accredited naturopathic doctor near you and regulations of provinces and territories at www.cand.ca
Below is a brief guide to the scope of practice for NDs in regulated Canadian provinces:
- All Regulated Provinces: All NDs who have graduated from an accredited naturopathic college (through the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC)) are trained as primary health care providers. Most NDs are able to provide nutritional, botanical, and homeopathic medicine, as well as physical manipulation and traditional Chinese medicine (including acupuncture), hydrotherapy, and lifestyle counselling. In some provinces, NDs are board certified in other specialized areas, such as prolotherapy and injection therapy.
- British Columbia (BC): BC is one of two provinces (with Ontario) where NDs are licensed to prescribe, compound, and dispense pharmaceutical drugs. NDs have access to laboratory tests and services through private companies.
- Alberta: In Alberta, NDs do not currently have prescribing rights though they have access to class IV substances and other controlled acts. NDs have access to laboratory tests and services through private companies.
- Saskatchewan: In Saskatchewan, details of The Naturopathic Medicine Act of 2015 are being drafted and will include ability to prescribe pharmaceuticals and access to laboratory tests and services. It is anticipated that NDs in the province will have their full scope of practise.
- Manitoba: In Manitoba, it is anticipated that NDs in the province will have their full scope of practise. NDs have access to laboratory tests and services, though at a cost to the patient.
- Ontario: Ontario is other one of two provinces (with BC) where NDs are licensed to prescribe, compound, and dispense pharmaceutical drugs. NDs have access to laboratory tests and services.
- Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia is working towards to full provincial regulation though currently they only have title protection. Patients can also claim services provided by an ND on income tax.
With an interest in nutrition, I both attended and instructed at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Calgary. I practised natural nutrition and worked in health food stores for the better part of a decade before I decided to actively pursue naturopathic medicine. The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine was a natural choice for me and I am loving it. I am deeply passionate about environmental stewardship, intentional communities, and philosophy, including animal rights.
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- Lloyd, I. (2009). Provincial Formation and Regulation. In History of naturopathic medicine: A Canadian perspective (pp. 115-166). Toronto: McArthur &.
- Nova Scotia Association of Naturopathic Doctors. (2016). Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://nsand.ca/about/nova-scotia-association-of-naturopathic-doctors/
- Questions and Answers Naturopathic Medicine – The British Columbia Naturopathic Association. (2016). Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.bcna.ca/questions-and-answers-naturopathic-medicine/#toggle-id-6
- Saskatchewan Association of Naturopathic Practitioners. (2016). Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.sanp.ca/