January 28, 2009 in City

Panel moves to repeal naturopath licensing

By SARAH D. WIRE Associated Press
 

BOISE – A Senate committee has voted in favor of repealing a law requiring naturopathic physicians to be licensed by the state.

The Health and Welfare Committee passed the repeal bill unanimously Tuesday, sending it on to the full Senate.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, cited “total disagreement” over training standards between the Idaho Chapter of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the Idaho Association of Naturopathic Physicians. She said repealing the law would be the best way to move forward.

“This will allow the organization(s) as a whole to have a fresh start,” Broadsword said.

Idaho’s naturopathic licensing law was passed in 2005 to require naturopathic physicians to be licensed in order to write prescriptions and perform minor surgery.

But differing opinions about what kind of education is necessary to obtain an Idaho license has kept the five-member state Board of Naturopathic Medical Examiners from drafting rules over the last four years to regulate the handful of licenses that have been awarded.

The Idaho Chapter of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians wants to require physicians to attend one of five naturopathy colleges accredited by the U.S. Department of Education and pass a national test to get a license, something other states have done to distinguish between training levels and to protect the public.

The Idaho Association of Naturopathic Physicians contends such a narrow standard won’t accommodate people with years of experience and skills, but not a formal education from one of the schools.

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