Knowledge is power, well at least I believe knowledge is power and with that stated, your healthy habit for this week is  information.  Not just some information but information I am sure most people are not aware of. In fact I was not aware what is written in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, policy statement #3-11, Complementary/Alternative Medicine.  That is what I would like to share with you today.

Firstly I think it is important to understand what the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is.  It is the regulatory body that gives a doctor the right to call themselves a doctor.  You see when a person goes to school to study medicine, when they graduate they cannot automatically call themselves a doctor until they apply and qualify to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.  They are a self regulating body mandated by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health’s job is to protect the public.  How they protect the public is to have self regulating bodies that put in place standards of care, ethics, policies, education, basically protocols of safe operations.  When a member of the public, you or I do not feel a doctor did the proper job we can put a complaint against the doctor.  It is the self regulating body, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario that will then look into the conduct of the doctor and see if he/she followed the protocols.

When a person graduates from med school they then have to apply to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to be accepted and receive their doctor designation.  With that designation they become registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.  As well a doctor has to pay a yearly registration fee to their regulating college.

Now that we have that understanding of the regulatory body, one of their policy statements is about complementary/alternative medicine.  This document was approved by council on November 1997, reviewed and updated in 2000 and 2011.

Under the subtitle of introduction, “Patients have the right to make health care decisions that accord with their own values, wishes and preferences.  This includes decisions to pursue complementary/alternative medicine either as an adjunct to conventional medicine, or instead of conventional medicine.” The policy goes on to state that a physician shall not be found guilty of misconduct or incompetency if they practice a therapy that is non-traditional or departs from medical practice.

Under Clinical Competency: Knowledge, Skill and Judgement it states, “Where patients seek care that is beyond the physician’s clinical competency, physicians must clearly indicate that they are unable to provide the care. Where physicians are unable to provide care directly, they are encouraged to refer the patient to another physician or HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER where doing so is in the best interest of the patient, or will support the patient’s informed decision making.”  What this means is if you the patient want to work with a naturopath, homeopath, traditional Chinese medicine or anyone else who is regulated under the regulatory health act the physician is suppose to be supportive of your decision and work with you.  If they don’t they can be reported to their regulatory body the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Hear me loud and clear, I am not suggesting that you storm into your doctor’s office and start making demands.  But you now have the knowledge that you do have the right to make health care decisions  and your physician is suppose to work with you.

Diane Elms D.H.M.H.S., CCI, CCII, Homeopath, Specialist is Drugless Cancer Care, 2006 Iridologist of the Year, if you have any health related questions contact or 905 768 0848.