Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by OHIP?
It is not covered by OHIP but most extended health care plans provide coverage for service administered by a Naturopathic Doctor.
To ensure you are fully informed about your coverage, you may want to contact your insurance provider to ask about:
1) Your annual coverage amount for services rendered by a licensed Naturopathic Doctor
2) Your per visit coverage amount and whether the amounts differ between initial consultation and follow-ups
3) Coverage for supplements (rare but some plans do include supplement coverage)
4) Coverage for lab testing, including which tests and how much is covered
NOTE: You will need to submit your receipts for paid services directly to your insurance company for reimbursement
Are Naturopathic Doctors regulated?
Yes. Naturopathic doctors are regulated in Ontario under the 1925 Drugless Therapy Act and are registered (licensed) by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy (BDDT-N). The BDDT-N’s mandate is to ensure that naturopathic doctors are properly qualified to practice naturopathic medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.
I am currently doing well on my prescription medications. Would there be any reason to seek Naturopathic treatment?
Although the symptoms that were being treated with the medication may have improved or disappeared, because the systems of the body don't operate in isolation, taking a medication that affects one part of the body may eventually weaken another part of the body. This is especially a risk when a drug is prescribed primarily to combat a symptom and little or no investigation has been done to identify the cause of the symptom. A Naturopath will work hard to identify the cause and treat that to eliminate the need to continue suppressing the symptom. We see symptoms as your body's warning sign that something out of balance needs attention. Introducing a medication to silencing those warning signs would be analagous to a mechanic asking a driver to wear earplugs when her engine is making too much noise rather than finding and repairing the cause of the problem. Furthermore, if you simply medicate and never determine the cause of the undesirable symptoms if the medication ever stops working you may have difficulty treating at that point because the whole time a symptom and not a cause was being treated. That being said, there are some situations where it is unsafe not to use prescription medications so it is very important to have an open and honest dialogue with your prescribing doctor to better understand your unique health concerns.
Another reason to seek Naturopathic care is because feeling the need to take a medication to feel well is disempowering and puts the patient in the position that there is nothing else they can do to improve their illness. Many issues that get typically get treated with prescription medications are largely a result of lifestyle choices. As your ND I will educate you on what you can do in your life to create the conditions where your medication requirements may be lessened*.
*NOTE: There are many medications which are unsafe to reduce or eliminate without the proper supervision of your prescribing doctor. Should you have any concerns with your medications please discuss with your prescribing doctor prior to making changes to ensure your safety. As your Naturopathic Doctor I would never advise you to make any changes to your pharmaceutical medication protocol without having a dialogue with your prescribing doctor.