Industry moves to register

THE move towards an independent registration board for naturopaths and herbalists has met with a mixed response from practitioners on the Coffs Coast.

Senior lecturer in Health and Human Sciences at the Southern Cross University, Paul Orrock, welcomed the announcement, saying it will provide the public with uniform professional standards, similar to the statutory system in other health professions.

“This will make the standards uniform in education, training and ethical practice,” Mr Orrock said. “We believe the industry is ready for this.”

Coffs Harbour medical herbalist and naturopath Angela Duncan was also pleased.

“I come from an orthodox medical background and I have been pushing for something like this because it is a way to value our practitioners,” Ms Duncan said.

“This will mean practitioners will be required to pursue ongoing education and training and will prevent rogue practitioners from entering the profession. This will also lead to Medicare recognition. ”

Kevin Montgomery, from the NSW School of Natural Medicines, said while he supported uniting the profession, he would prefer to see a government-monitored but self-regulating system, as per professional accountants.

“We don’t want to be controlled by the government,” he said.

He added Medicare registration would never happen because the health care system was already under so much financial pressure.

A board of industry and community members has already been set up to establish the register, which will be available by mid-2011.

Their first meeting will take place in Brisbane on November 21. Submissions regarding training and practice standards have been invited from interested parties. Submissions can be made to the Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists (ARONAH) on www.aronah.org.



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