Did you know that the transition council for the Ontario College of Homeopathy has requested proclamation of the Homeopathy Act to take place on April 1, 2015? In other words, a new regulatory validation of homeopathy is likely to be in effect this year in Ontario.
I like governance structures and regulatory frameworks. They provide an interesting window into “how things work”. For example, in Ontario the Homeopathy Act, 2007 sets out the governance and regulatory framework to oversee homeopaths in Ontario. The act is grievously short but there are a few interesting details.
The Act sets out that there shall be an organization called the College of Homeopaths of Ontario and this College shall have a council consisting of:
(a) at least six and no more than nine persons who are members elected in accordance with the by-laws;
(b) at least five and no more than eight persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council who are not,
(ii) members of a College as defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, or
(iii) members of a Council as defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. 2007, c. 10, Sched. Q, s. 5 (1).
If you’ve ever been involved with an organization, you probably recognize that boards and councils play a vital role in setting the course for an organization. So part (b) of the council structure is very interesting and potentially valuable to people who would like to ensure that science and evidence-based practices are at the centre of healthcare.
While it may seem a bit like regulating the flow of nonsense, I’m a supporter of a legislated body to oversee and control the scope and claims of homeopaths. As much as I’d like to see homeopathy banned, it’s not likely to happen. The next best thing, then, may be a regulatory framework that controls the practice of homeopaths.
Perhaps some enterprising scientists, client advocacy groups and other concerned citizens will investigate appointments to the new College of Homeopaths of Ontario. Perhaps these same people could make a concerted effort to hold this new College accountable and transparent in their undertakings -whether from the inside or the outside.
If the flow of nonsense isn’t regulated……the community is left without any protection at all.