The Naturopathic Doctors Licensing Act has been introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly. Senate Bill 467 sponsored by Senators Fletcher Hartsell, (R-Cabarrus & Irdell), and Tom Apodaca, (R-Buncombe, Henderson, & Polk), and House Bill 847 sponsored by Representatives Jeff Barnhart, (R-Cabarrus), Jeff Collins, (R-Nash), Tom Murry, (R-Wake), and Susan Fisher, (D-Buncombe) were introduced Thursday, March 31 and Thursday, April 7 respectively. SB 467 and HB 847 prescribe a process for licensing doctors of naturopathic medicine in North Carolina. The legislation follows the national standards for licensure of naturopaths requiring college graduation with an emphasis in sciences, graduation from a four-year nationally accredited naturopathic medical school, and passage of a state or national licensing board exam. Once licensed, doctors would have to complete yearly continuing educational credits to maintain a license.
The scope of practice as detailed in the legislation is specific and narrowly defined, allowing naturopathic doctors to diagnose and treat illness and use a variety of natural treatment modalities such as homeopathy, herbal therapies, nutritional supplements, diet, physical manipulation, light, heat and water. However, these therapies are not exclusive to the practice of naturopathic medicine, and the provisions of the legislation are applicable only to naturopathic doctors. The purpose of the legislation is to provide standards for practitioners in North Carolina who practice as naturopathic doctors.
Members of NCANP hopes the bills will move smoothly through the legislative process. However, assistance from supporters of naturopathic medicine is welcome and needed. Here is how you can help to get SB 467 or HB 847 enacted. Call members of the legislative committees to which the bills have been assigned and ask legislators to support the Naturopathic Doctors Licensing Act. Contact information for members of the Senate Committee on Health Care and the House Committee on Health and Human Services is recorded below.