Just before Halloween, when it was announced that city council is shelling out $45,000. to sweeten the launch of a local naturopath’s ‘medical clinic,’ some people couldn’t help but wonder if the “treat” is some sort of a trick.
Like many communities across Canada, Cornwall has a recruitment plan and is trying to attract doctors. This has been stated publicly by councillor Glen Grant. But as of press time, there’s no response from Grant about his understanding of naturopaths as doctors.
Meanwhile, medical doctors themselves are dealing with healthcare funding cuts, and in Ontario specifically, trying to make Premier Doug Ford understand that good community care can help ease the pressure on hospital ERs and reduce hallway medicine.
So, is city council’s funding decision of a naturopath really in the best interest of attracting doctors, supporting community health or reducing stress on the CCH? Are council members aware that a naturopath’s services are not even covered by OHIP, that patients have to pay out of their own pockets?
And as far as potential patients go, are they being tricked by language; can naturopaths’ claims that their education-and-training is similar to that of medical doctors be believed or that their scope of practice pertains to all aspects of family and general medicine, from pediatrics and pregnancy to geriatric health?
Medical doctors know the answers. But here’s how Vancouver family physician Jon Hislop, who has an MD and a PhD puts it.
“The training naturopaths receive is not even close to that of a medical doctor.
Naturopaths do not actually go to medical school, they don’t spend a single day in a family physician’s office or complete rotations in the hospital, emergency medicine, cardiology or endocrinology.
They don’t do residency or board exams. They are not trained by any medical doctor [and] when they claim ‘equivalent training,’ this is deceptive to the public.
It misrepresents the expertise they were exposed to in their training, the depth of that training, the knowledge base they mastered, and the skills they acquired.
Naturopaths routinely treat actual health conditions with homeopathy, which is literally water.
Using public resources to support this when there is a shortage of actual doctors is a travesty. People need real care.”
Ms Pankhurst will be coming out with part two of this story next week. In the meanwhile, if you can post your comment in this story thanks to viewer support.
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