Legislative Update: Joint Committee on New Licensing Boards Takes Up Proposed Licensure of Naturopaths

In addition to negotiations regarding medical liability reform and the Senate’s work on the state budget, legislators took up a number of bills related to health care and the practice of medicine this week.  The Joint Committee on New Licensing Boards, chaired by Senator Tommy Tucker (R- Union) met for the first time on Wednesday morning to discuss the potential licensure of naturopaths as physicians.  Senate Bill 467 and House Bill 847 both propose to create a new licensing board for naturopaths.

There are approximately 30 naturopaths in North Carolina who would meet the standard for licensure proposed in these bills, which require four years of post-graduate education.  The NCMS attended the committee meeting on Wednesday and spoke publicly to voice concerns regarding the ability of such a small board to offer legitimate oversight to a new health profession.  The committee did not vote on the proposal but is expected to do so next week.  If the proposal receives a favorable report from the Committee on New Licensing Boards the individual bills will then have to be heard by both the Health Committees and Finance Committees of each chamber.

Other pieces of legislation that saw movement this week include:

What are your thoughts on the naturopath licensing bills? Comment below.


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