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Naturopath profession recognized under HPA

August 7, 2012

On July 25, 2012, Health Minister Fred Horne announced that a new regulation under the Health Professions Act establishes the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta and gives that body the authority to establish requirements for entry into the profession and ongoing professional development. 

Naturopathic doctors are not permitted to prescribe drugs, order x-rays or ultrasounds or administer intravenous nutrition.

Naturopath profession recognized under HPA

The regulation will allow the College to set standards for professional practice, investigate complaints and govern use of protected titles, including Naturopath and Naturopathic Doctor.

Naturopathic doctors focus on health promotion, illness prevention and treating disease using natural therapies and substances that promote the body’s ability to heal. In addition to authorizing self-governance, the regulation also describes the restricted activities naturopathic doctors registered with the College are permitted to perform, including:

  • injections;
  • minor surgeries, such as removing warts and moles, obtaining skin samples for biopsies and doing sutures;
  • ear examinations, cerumen management, nasal lavage and placing herbs in nasal passages; and
  • with additional training approved by the College, alternative medical treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, and intravenous administration of ozone, chelation therapy or supplemental vitamins and minerals.

Currently, there are 144 practising naturopathic doctors in Alberta. Minimum education requirements are three years of pre-medical education plus completion of a four-year professional program at an approved, accredited naturopathic college or university. 

Originally published in the August 7, 2012 issue of The Link