Dr. Amy Velichka, ND (Class of 2011)
In Saskatchewan, the profession is governed by regulation which needs updating. The new Naturopathic Medicine Act passed its third reading in 2015 and is currently awaiting proclamation. In the meantime, the Saskatchewan Association of Naturopathic Practitioners (SANP) is moving forward with developing new bylaws and standards of practice which will accompany the legislation.
The process has been rather taxing on SANP’s human and financial resources, says Amy. But collaborations between NDs and other health-care professionals has opened up considerably.
“With each year that passes, more NDs settle in the province. People in this province don’t hesitate to share the great experiences they’ve had with their family, friends and neighbours. It’s a beautiful thing to practise in a province with smaller communities where word-of-mouth travels fast. This along with ongoing awareness initiatives during Naturopathic Medicine Week has helped to raise the profile of the profession in Saskatchewan,” she says.
Amy, who held the position of secretary from 2012–2016 and now co-chairs SANP’s legislative and regulatory committee, is intimately familiar with the problems facing NDs in Saskatchewan. Because there is ambiguity around the profession’s scope of practice, patients are traveling out of province to see NDs whose provincial legislations/governing bodies allow them to deliver advanced care for chronic health issues.
“Advancing the profession means making the highest level of naturopathic care available in the province so that patients don’t leave to other provinces or states to receive such care,” Amy says. “We have NDs who are highly skilled and trained (with more moving to the province each year), and now we need the regulation in place to support the safe practice of these leading-edge naturopathic approaches.”
This article was originally published in issue #23, Mind|Body|Spirit, Fall/Winter 2018/2019, page 9