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Natural Therapies & Co-Regulation

Complementary Alternative Medicine - CAM

Goal and Purpose of Holistic Natural Therapies

Co-Regulation for Complementary Alternative Medicine, a Natural Health Care Model

A New Co-Regulation Strategy to strengthen the case for Natural Health and Lifestyle improvement within our society.

*NOTE: Uniting all Natural Therapies under "One Umbrella Organisation" in conjunction with government recognition and regulation as laid out by leading Natural Therapy Bodies and Associations.

**NOTE: Providing arrangements for specifc professions or so called modalities to apply for 'Statutory Registration' if deemed nessescery for public safety.
( Statutory Registration: to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence amongst the registrants of the designated professions.)

***NOTE: A Co-Regulation system will also be a suitable system to act as a continuence and fallback system in the case of some Natural Modalitie's approval for Stat. Registration.

Compiled by: Dieter Lüske N.D.-D.C.H.-D.M.H.-D.H

For discussion please offer feedback or questions to > Friends of Holistic Health

What does Co-regulation mean?

Co-regulation generally means a combination of industry and government regulation.

Co-regulation involves industry in our case, the Natural Therapy Industry and the government as the regulator developing strategies and administering and enforcing a workable solution.

Co-regulation for Natural Therapies means that interest groups such as Associations will develop guidelines and regulatory arrangements, such as codes of ethics or conduct, in consultation with government.

Natural Therapy Associations will administer their arrangements, while the government provides legislative backing to enable the arrangements to be enforced. 

Concepts of Co-regulation for a Natural Health Care Model:

Uniting Natural Therapies under an Umbrella Co-regulation System will assure better protection against undue attacks, and will progress our industry forward.

  1. Using the World Health Organisations, WHO Constitution as a Guideline:
    "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".

  2. The Natural System provides "experties" in promoting and supporting "complete physical, mental and social well-being".
    The Medical System, "provides the absence of disease or infirmity".

Active Prevention: We don't need more Hospitals ... we need more Healthy People!

  1. Holistic Active Preventative & Restorative Healthcare needs to be of equal importance as Primary Medical Care.

  2. Natural Therapy Practitioners take a Holistic Health approach, and can deliver what the "WHO Constitution" stands for.

  3. The Medical System, even so it is absolutely dedicated helping the sick, is lacking behind in 'active prevention and improving' Health.

  4. The Medical System is a "Disease Management System", but in addition we need a "Holistic Health Support System".

  5. The Medical System is a "PASSIVE Patient System", patients are not actively involved enough in supporting their own health.

  6. Medical Practitioners in order to effectively treat someone, "have to diagnose a disease" first.
    If no disease can be diagnosed by any type of medical tests, GP's are in fact unable to treat or help the patient.

  7. We need an "ACTIVE Patient System", where the patient is encouraged to take responsibility for their own health under Guidance from a "Preventative, Restorative Health Care Practitioners" such as a Naturopath.

  8. It is NOT enough for a medical Doctor to suggest a healthier lifestyle; the motivation and willingness to change needs strong guidance and practical applications for direct active participation or group activities.
    Groups for walking / exercise, weight loss meetings, attitude changes, relaxation /meditation, nutrition / diets have to be provided with government incentives to ensure ongoing compliance. (under guidance of a Holistic orientated Practitioner)

The Co - Regulation Umbrella Model

  1. Complementary Alternative Medicine and Naturopathy specificly, are experts in promoting and supporting "complete physical, mental and social well-being".

  2. Co-Regulation offers 'Recognition & Representation' and support for *Accredited Practitioners.

  3. *Accreditation is a vital part to secure high Education Standards.

  4. Quality Education Standard Safeguards are: Meeting Accreditation Requirements - ongoing training - insurance.

  5. Co-Regulation supports all Natural Therapy modalities, and assures that no fragmentation of holistic principles occurs.

  6. Co-Regulation supports streamlining Education... and "dictate" which courses and education facilities are accepted by the Association's Standards and Accreditation.
    Any courses outside of standards, would be classed as NOT accredited, and seen as 'general interest courses' only.
    To study a Prime Treatment Model, such as Naturopathy, a number of 'elective sub-modalities' will need to be studied as well.
    Sub-Modalities have an important role to play, specificly in "Active Prevention - Recuperation or Treatment Goals".

  7. Co-Regulation will self-police to assure the standards of the Codes of Ethics & Conduct, and Scope of Practice.
    (at this point, most practitioners will fall under the Code of Ethics for "unregistered practitioners".)

Regulation for Practitioner Only Products (POPs)

Associations have to establish a policy, that only accredited Naturopaths or other "Primary" modality practitioners are permitted to buy and prescribe "Practitioner Only Products".

To assure this process, a"provider number" of each practitioner needs to be listed next to a purchase order, or in case of a "Patient", a script for POP's "Practitioner Only Products".

Any products sold without a provider number reference should be investigated, and the supplier of the products, should be first cautioned, and on reoccurrence the supplier should not be allowed to sell "Practitioner Only Products".

"Code of Ethics - Code of Conduct - Scope of Practice"

Guidelines for the various Complementary Modalities, what to practice and what not.

Most complaints are directed about "treatment claims" - "wrong diagnosis", and "selling supplements for profit".

Natural Therapy Scope of Practice additional Code suggestions:

  1. Accredited Natural Therapy practitioners DO NOT TREAT A DISEASE - THEY TREAT THE INDIVDUAL, and they do not claim to heal or make therapeutic claims. - Instead, they support a body in its inert capability to heal itself.

  2. Accredited Natural Therapy practitioners DO NOT DIAGNOSE for the purpose of "Naming a Disease".

  3. Accredited Natural Therapy practitioners DO NOT sell supplements for the purpose of making a profit.
    Instead, supplements, and other therapeutic agents are subscribed on the basis of patient's needs.
    Reasoning behind the prescription for specific supplements are made accountable on a patient's file.

  4. Summary - Accredited Natural Therapy practitioners do support and treat "Individuals", not a disease name.
    Treatments and Health support is tailored holistically to the individual person, not the disease.

Code of Ethics/Conduct - Naturopathic Code of Conduct

A wide range of health professions are not regulated under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS).

At his point of time any unregistered Modality or Profession is "regulated" by the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners.

See informations or Codes:

Policing "Self-Regulation"

The Complementary Health System, needs its own surveillance and policing system. We need to clean up our own act.

"Police" our own industry against violation of guidelines and scope of practice - including supplement marketing.

Practitioners and their web-sites that comply to the regulation will get a "Certificate of Ethical Practice".

NOTE*: Self Regulation in above sense stands for "voluntarily" adopting suggested Codes.

Co-Regulation Goals

  1. Standardization of Education by means of "Accreditation" guidelines.
    Association and Accreditation standards will dictate the college curriculum ..

  2. A uniform code of ethics and scope of practice for all association and practitioners.

  3. A "new" single government neutral regulatory body to monitor the industry and provide legislative backing to enable the Associations concepts and arrangements to be enforced. 

  4. Associations to have a dedicated "spokes person" to communicate for the benefit of Natural Therapies and instill confidence from the public.

  5. Uniting Associations, goals and education,

*Statuary Registraton Requirements (if required for public safty reasons)

For treatment Modalities deemed to possibly cause "significant harm" to the public, registration may be possible.

Australian Health Practitioners' Regulation Agency (AHPRA)  -

At present, only a minority of Natural Therapies have been Registered. - Being registered does Not mean being recognised by the Government

Registration is designed to safeguard the public against malpractice or fraudulant practitioners, it also sets education standards, but may restrict the scope of practise by doing so.

Registered Professions are: Chinese Medcine - Chiropractic - Osteopathy

To meet registration requirements a number of criteria has to be met. - In my opinion, a single modality may be easier to be accepted for registration than a Multi-Modality such as Naturopathy. - Medical Herbalism by example 'may' find it easier to meet registration requirements.

NOTE: Being registered or applying for Registration ... should Not be a discouragement to turn the back on the wide field of all Natural Therapy Modalities and their benefits to encourage a Healthy Lifestyle and to actively Prevent Disease.

Compiled by: Dieter Lüske N.D.-D.C.H.-D.M.H.-D.H

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