Our Quest for Licensure

Illinois citizens seeking naturopathic treatment deserve peace of mind, protection and assurance that their provider has achieved established education and medical training standards. Licensure means professional medical standards must be met. 

Why Illinois Should License Naturopathic Physicians...

  • Public Safety
By establishing licensure for naturopathic physicians, the public can be assured of the physician-level naturopathic medical training of these healthcare professionals.
 
The public deserves the peace-of-mind and protection of knowing that naturopathic physicians have met established educational and medical training standards.
 
Without licensure, there is no way for a member of the public to discern who is legitimately qualified to practice naturopathic medicine. In the state of Illinois, anyone can use the title “naturopathic doctor” or “ND” and assert that they are qualified to practice naturopathic medicine. This includes those individuals who have obtained a certificate from a naturopathic diploma mill institution, or a web-based agency. An individual seeking healthcare from these unqualified individuals may experience harm from delayed or incorrect diagnoses, harmful treatments, and fraudulent claims and associated expense.

  • Professional Accountability
Like other medical professionals in the state, licensure for naturopathic physicians will provide direct accountability for care and treatment according to standards enforced by professional regulators at the State of Illinois.
 
While you can never fully guarantee “public safety” from any doctor, the fact is that the public needs some mechanism or standard to be able to tell the difference between the untrained and the highly trained. In licensed jurisdictions, all practitoners must meet the required educational and testing standards in order to practice as a naturopathic doctor. Also, in licensed jurisdictions, all the potential patient has to do is call the licensing board or look on the web site to find out if the naturopathic doctor that they want to see is qualified. A licensing statute would establish a Board to oversee naturopathic doctors. Any member of the public who feels harmed by a member of the naturopathic profession can report this to the Board who is statutorily obligated to investigate this complaint. Any wrongdoing results in fines and, in some cases, revocation of the doctor’s license to practice. In this way, the public’s safety is protected.

  • Universal Access to Naturopathic Treatment
By establishing licensure for naturopathic physicians, patients will be allowed access to effective, science-based natural healing therapies employed by highly trained professionals.
 
Without a license, qualified (CNME approved program graduates) naturopathic doctors cannot practice to the full scope of their education and training. Currently, without licensure, NDs are unable to diagnose or to provide naturopathic treatment in the state of Illinois.

  • Beneficial Affect on other Licensed Medical Professionals
Naturopathic licensure will increase collaborative health care and will provide patients with the most effective integrated care possible. Naturopathic doctors are trained to refer their patients to conventional medical doctors for additional diagnosis and conventional treatments. Many conventional doctors want a licensed provider of natural medicine to whom they can confidently refer their patients for natural therapies. 



HR0095 was a house resolution that formed a task force to study naturopathic medicine, hold necessary public hearings and report back to the House. A scheduled hearing took place in the Fall of 2009.
In February 2010... the Naturopathic Medical Practice Act was introduced in the Illinois legislature. The bill sponsors are Representatives Dan Reitz and Angelo Saviano. Rep. Reitz currently chairs the Health Care Licenses Committee of the House. This act provides for the regulation of naturopathic physicians through licensure by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and establishes the Board of Naturopathic Medicine, the Naturopathic Childbirth Attendance Advisory Committee, and the Naturopathic Formulary Committee.  It also sets forth provisions concerning licensure, scope of practice, duties of the Department, and administrative procedure.  It amends the Illinois Controlled Substances Act to add naturopathic physicians who issue a prescription for a controlled substance in accordance with the naturopathic formulary to the definition of "prescriber". (www.ilga.gov/legislation). Although much work needs to be down to support the passage of the Bill, the ILANP is pleased to see a Bill that reflects the training and capabilities of naturopathic physicians in the legislative process in Illinois.


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The Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians

200 East Roosevelt Road
Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630.889.6446

Email: info@ilanp.org