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Toronto— April 1, 2015 marks the proclamation date of the Homeopathy Act, 2007, which sets out the terms for establishing homeopathy as one of 28 self-regulated health professions in Ontario. This date also ushers in a new era of protection for homeopathy patients. Also Read - Karnataka CET 2018: KEA Conducts CET Today, on Basava Jayanti Despite Resistance From Different Sections of Society

“We have a rich and diverse population in Ontario,” says Bhupinder Sharma, the College’s President. “Many patients choose homeopathy because it works for them.” Sharma added that “Ontario’s healthcare system includes many options, and we are pleased to see patient choice and public safety coming together.”

Regulation will ensure that homeopaths practice to a standard that is defined and maintained. In order to register, applicants must have proven their competence through an assessment of their knowledge, skill and judgement. Registrants will take part in ongoing quality assurance initiatives, focusing on education and standards of practice.

“We are pleased to post the Public Register of qualified and competent homeopaths,” says College Registrar Basil Ziv. “Getting to this point has taken many years and a lot of hard work. Proclamation allows the College to use the full powers of the Homeopathy Act, 2007.”

As of April 1, only those who are registered with the College can use the title “Homeopath.” What sets registered homeopaths apart is that, under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, they are accountable to the College of Homeopaths of Ontario to provide safe, competent and ethical practice. An exhaustive set of professional practice standards and guidelines has been developed to form the backdrop against which practice will be maintained. The public register of homeopaths will be available to allow patients and others to determine the registration status of a practitioner. Additionally, a discipline process will be in place to ensure that complaints can be dealt with fairly and effectively.

According to Ziv,there are already 35 homeopaths on their rolls fully whetted for their skills and qualifications. “We expect to have soon around 100 members.”

Dr. Sharma and his colleagues who have been campaigning for a decade to get the profession declared as ‘regulated’ is thrilled.

“We can now look forward to a regulated growth and much better practices implemented in the profession. This is a win win for both homeopaths and patients.” When asked about the insurance cover for homeopathy in the future, Dr. Sharma was hopeful. “Many companies have expressed their interest to know more. Now that we are regulated profession under Ontario law, we are optimistic about the future.”

The College of Homeopaths of Ontario is governed by the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Homeopathy, Act, 2007.

These acts ensure consistent implementation of public protection mechanisms and allow patients, employers and other health care professions to make complaints against practitioners who fall below the health care standards set by the College and the Government of Ontario. For more information on the Public Register, complaints process, registration requirements, professional practice standards, and ongoing regulatory programs, please see the College’s website: www.collegeofhomeopaths.on.ca

This story originally appeared on The Weekly Voice.