Last week a bill was introduced into the North Carolina House of Representatives to legislate/regulate naturopathic doctors in North Carolina. This is an important step to bringing safe and effective integrative/functional/naturopathic healthcare to the people of North Carolina.
The bill, HB692, would create a regulatory board and certification process, letting healthcare consumers know they are getting a well-trained healthcare professional when they see a naturopathic doctor in North Carolina. The lack of regulation here creates confusion for consumers that want quality integrative healthcare from competent doctors. There are people calling themselves naturopathic doctors that have only taken a limited online course or had no training at all. There are well-documented cases of harm and even death from these untrained providers. Lawrence Perry, who presented himself as a naturopathic doctor took an 8 year old off of insulin killing her. This article references this case in the introduction. If the legislation that’s been introduced had been law he wouldn’t have been able to present himself as a naturopathic doctor.
A recent tragic case in Kentucky highlights this problem too. People with minimal or no training present themselves as naturopaths or naturopathic doctors, causing harm and even death.
The certification process this bill legislates would ensure that practitioners calling themselves naturopathic doctors in North Carolina have gone to a 4-year, in-person, naturopathic medicinal school, passed the two sets of board exams that are required to practice, have undergone background checks, and do yearly continuing education.
There is a companion bill in the senate, SB258, that has the same working as the house bill.
Both bills need to go through multiple committees before being voted on by the full House/Senate and then being singed into law by the Governor.
19 states, DC and Puerto Rico, as well as most of Canada currently regulate naturopathic medicine. It’s time for North Carolina to join that group.