Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND)

The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) is the naturopathic medical profession’s national association.  It is a not-for-profit professional association that was founded in 1955 to represent the interests of Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) and to promote naturopathic medicine throughout Canada.

The CAND membership has grown to over 1,500 members including Naturopathic Doctors, all naturopathic medical students in an accredited four-year post-graduate level naturopathic medical program, suppliers and corporate members.  There are approximately 125-150 new NDs graduating each year.  The professional membership represents 85% of the Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) practicing in Canada.

The CAND has been very active at the provincial and federal levels of government. The major areas of political focus for the CAND include:
– Regulation of naturopathic medicine and NDs across Canada
– Benefits and cost effectiveness of naturopathic medicine
– Integration of naturopathic care into the Canadian health care system
– Federal government funding for naturopathic medical research
– Access for NDs to restricted natural substances
– Lobby for amendment to the Income Tax Act to allow natural health products as a medically deductible expense

Current political status:
– The CAND is a stakeholder with the federal government, recognized as experts in disease prevention and health promotion.
– The Federal government involves the CAND as a stakeholder in initiatives/studies regarding the health of Canadians and the future of healthcare in Canada.
– Health Canada currently employees fourteen NDs.
– The federal Health Minister appointed a ND as Director General of the Natural Health Product Directorate.
– Naturopathic doctors will soon be regulated in Alberta, brining the number of regulated provinces to five.

Recent political activities include:
– The CAND presented to the Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada and provided further information as a result of questions from Commissioner Romanow.
– NDs were one of only two Complementary and Alternative Medical (CAM) providers asked to participate in the Public Policy Forum on the Future of Health Care.
– The CAND was chosen by Health Canada and Human Resources Development Canada as one of six core CAM practitioner groups involved in the development of a situational analysis for a sector study on the impact of CAM on health care systems.
– The CAND is a stakeholder participant in legislative renewal consultations for the Proposed New Health Protection Act.
– NDs continue to act as expert advisors to the Natural Health Products Directorate.  The Director General and nine of his staff members are NDs.
– The CAND continues to participate at the federal level with various ministries on scientific advisory panels, committees and as consultation participants.
– The CAND was asked to provide nominees for the Canada Health Council and the Paediatric Expert Advisory Committee (PEAC).
– The CAND continues to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health regarding healthy living strategies, health promotion and disease prevention.

Goals of the CAND are to:
– Promote and develop the science, art, philosophy and practice of naturopathic medicine among the general public and federal government.
– Educate the general public concerning the benefits to be derived from naturopathic medicine; to publish and disseminate information and to provide a referral service to assist the public locate NDs.
– Advocate for regulatory change at the federal level; such as, ensuring the availability of botanical and homeopathic medicines, and dietary supplements for effective patient treatments.
– Encourage the standardization of educational requirements for practitioners of all healing arts and to support the highest standards of professional training, competency and qualifications of NDs.
– Assist with increasing the number of provinces that license naturopathic doctors and the number of quality naturopathic doctors available to serve the public.
– Demonstrate the efficacy of naturopathic medicine by continuing research, setting strategic goals and develop a model of integrated and effective naturopathic health care.

 For more information about the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) please visit www.cand.ca.