Naturopath code wins doctor support

NATUROPATHS, herbalists and other unregistered health practitioners may soon face stricter regulation under nationally uniform arrangements as support grows for an enforceable statutory code of conduct.

The proposal is one of three options touted by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) in a recent discussion paper on regulating those health practitioners who have no formal avenue of registration.

It is understood that a statutory code of conduct would see naturopath and herbalists held accountable to accepted standards of patient care.

The code would be supported by enhanced complaints mechanisms, potentially modelled on the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission. 

Breaches of the code could then result in conditions being placed on practitioners’ practice, with failure to comply possibly resulting in prosecution via courts.

The proposal has already gained the backing of the AMA and the