West Coast Homeopathic Society has been politically active since 2000, when the Canadian government began public consultations about establishing the Office of Natural Health Products, which was later re-named the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) and, more recently, the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD). Now WCHS is a recognized stakeholder with both the federal and provincial (BC) governments. The former controls the manufacture and distribution of health products, which affects the homeopathic industry and the public's access to homeopathic remedies.
Provincial governments are responsible for the practice of health care in their jurisdiction, which includes determining those healthcare modalities that can be freely practiced and those that require regulation as a healthcare profession, with legislated requirements and restrictions.
Our representatives continually monitor political activities and events that have the potential to affect the public's access to homeopathic products and treatment by a qualified homeopath. We also coordinate closely with the advocacy activities of the Canadian Society of Homeopaths.
On the provincial level, WCHS is aware of developments in Ontario that have lead to statutory regulation of the homeopathic profession in that province. Although these developments will not directly affect the practice of homeopathy in BC, indirectly they could inspire and be the model for similar legislation in all provinces. The WCHS Board has been active in opposing suggestions of professional regulation in Ontario at this time. We encourage everyone with an interest in homeopathy to become informed about the details of regulating the homeopathic profession and its potential impact on homeopathy across the country.
On the national level, the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) is responsible for the manufacture and distribution of all natural health products in Canada, including homeopathics. Over the past few years, WCHS representatives have participated in many consultations with NNHPD, by phone and in person.
Also on the national level, WCHS was actively involved with the Canadian Coalition for Homeopathic Medicine (CCHM), which was created to co-ordinate a national economic sector study on homeopathy. Our participation ceased when it became clear that not all homeopathic organizations were welcome to participate.
Within the next few years, political decisions will be made that will irrevocably change the future of homeopathy in Canada. WCHS encourages all homeopathic users to become fully aware of the facts pertaining to various political issues so that they can make informed choices and influence political decisions.