The Practice and Regulatory Requirement for Naturopathy: Critical evaluation and effects of the Naturopathic Regulation in the Ghanaian Healthcare delivery
Keywords:naturopathy, naturopathic medicine, law, traditional medicine, complementary alternative medicine, Ghana
This study explores the legal authority of Ministerial directives by the Minister of Health to the Traditional Medicine Practice Council to regulate the Practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Ghana. Additionally, the study explores the effect of legislation on the treatment practices and the role of naturopaths in the Ghanaian Healthcare space. A qualitative research approach using a case study design was employed. Data was collected using an unstructured questionnaire to conduct interviews among 50 respondents who are Naturopathic Doctors in training at Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT). A question-by-question analysis was then carried out. This study found that, though there exists a Ministerial directive on CAM practices to the Traditional Medicine Practice Council to regulate CAM Practitioners, this Ministerial directive can be challenged in Court. Additionally, there is unanimous agreement among respondents in support of legislation to regulate CAM Practitioners in Ghana. Conclusion: Though, some respondents expressed some discomfort with the proposed standardization in CAM, especially in Naturopathy. It must be stated that no profession can succeed without regulation as it provides the framework for the industry. Indeed, regulation, legislation, or standardization affects every profession globally. It is recommended that the passage of the draft Traditional and Alternative Medicine Bill which seeks to bring clarity to the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Profession should be facilitated.