April 2020 To Prime Minister and Minister Hunt

Dear Prime Minister,

Naturopaths are aiming to lower the number of people needing to rely on the hospital and medical systems that in some areas are currently under tremendous pressure.

Thank you for recognizing the excellent efforts of frontline health workers.

It is heartening to know that allied health workers are included in this group.

The Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association would like to raise awareness for the vital role naturopaths are playing not only in-the-midst of a pandemic, but every day, and especially in the area of preventative health and wellness. Preventative Health and Wellness is a cornerstone of naturopathic philosophy. Since before the turn of the century Naturopaths have always advocated lifestyle-medicine, this is not a new approach to health care for our profession.

Naturopathic philosophy is different from that of mainstream medicine. It is because of this difference that we often have answers that fill the gaps in mainstream medicine. This pandemic is one of those times when there are significant gaps.   

Naturopaths in Australia are not allowed to treat a communicable disease. However, we have excellent approaches to the treatment of cough, lowered immunity, respiratory illness, fever, and much more. These approaches have evidence.

The World Health Organisation includes Traditional Medicines. Naturopathy is one of them.    

While Australian naturopaths cannot directly treat COVID-19, thousands of naturopathic practitioners throughout Australia are working to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on the general population. ANPA members are offering telehealth support to their patients.  They have also made major adjustments to the way they practice face-to-face to fully comply with current health and safety requirements. 

Naturopaths are front line workers too.  This must be fully recognized by the government by registering the profession urgently.

Importantly, Naturopaths in Australia are recognized as valuable health professionals by the general population, media and other health professionals.

Federal and State legislators have repeatedly failed to act and bring about the formal registration of the naturopathic profession for more than 15 years. Despite evidence tabled, meetings have been conducted with State Health Ministers as well as other ministers for more than 15 years to little effect.  It is now time to act. 

Please contact our office if there is any way we can provide more information for the prevention and recovery from this very challenging viral pandemic using Naturopathic approaches.

Kind regards,

Marta Browne

ANPA President