On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011, at 6:15pm, a room filled with homeopaths had the pleasure to meet Eden Gajraj, Public Member and listen to Basil Ziv, Registrar, and Janet Blanchard, Policy and Communications Officer of the Transitional Council of the College of Homeopaths of Ontario, speak publicly. Wow, was it ever an education!
The realization that most professional homeopaths do not have a complete understanding of the regulation process was apparent. After all, we are medical professionals, not politicians! Although, that’s not a great excuse, it’s our job as professionals to be informed. So, over coffee and a bowl of granola this morning (Ray likes his cereal!) CCHM Dean and staff realized that we have a duty to educate ourselves and our fellow Homeopaths. The community as a whole, known as the ‘stake holders’ in government terms, will need to get a better understanding about the process of regulation and how we can best participate
Let us educate.
The Transitional Council of the College of Homeopaths of Ontario (TC) was formed in 2009, two years after the Homeopathy Act of 2007 was passed. This gives us the idea that regulation is a very long process! But, why does it take so long? It’s like building a house. First you have to lay the foundation and then you can start putting up the building. The infrastructure for regulation is like the foundation, it has to be laid down (i.e. the regulations will have to be developed and validated.) and then the actual building will have to go up,(i.e. Homeopaths will be registered) There will have to be policies and guidelines about almost everything. That’s the bureaucratic legalese that nobody seems to understand except the lawyers and the regulators themselves. As well, there is a constant back and forth process between the TC and the Ministry of Health.
Information has to be gathered, surveys need to be undertaken, and statistics collated in order to move forward. We understand that the process to regulate a profession has to follow the principles of transparency, openness, impartiality and fairness, so that everyone can monitor the process and make sure that stakeholders like us, can observe and participate in a fair process. Remember the adage: Justice needs to be done and needs to be seen to be done. Transparent. Open. Impartial. Fair. These are the 4 guiding principles that the Transitional Council are required to be loyal to throughout the entire process of regulation. Information about the regulation process needs to be understandable and available to homeopaths, homeopathic associations and the public. As hard as this is to understand, members of the TC are required to be unbiased and avoid conflicts of interest. Their job is public protection, not to promote the interests of the profession. That’s the job of our Homeopathic Membership Associations.
A united voice is powerful. That is how accomplishments are achieved. So, we want our patients to have insurance coverage, we want the homeopathic consultation to be HST exempt, we want tax deductibility for homeopathic services, we want to figure out how to get funding for evidence based research.. . we want... we want... we want... we need to write a letter to our associations. We need to call our associations. We need to let them know what will aid in the growth of awareness and demand for services from homeopaths. We all need to communicate with our associations to make this happen. We need our associations to speak up and all be saying the same things so that we have the right tools to practice successfully. It is the associations’ job to serve the homeopaths’ best interest and we all have common goals and needs to thrive as professionals, whether we are rookies or veterans.
We want to part of the process. We want to be consulted, have our say and be heard. We need to be sure that our Associations are working together to ensure that our collective voice is heard. We also need to remember that in reality we are the Associations. We vote in our representatives and we need to make sure they hear what we are saying. A united and organized community gains respect and legitimacy. The profession needs to become sustainable and we all need to work together to make this happen.
On May 30th, 2011, the TC will be meeting and the public is welcome. They will be discussing the actual regulations (Registration, Professional Misconduct and Quality Assurance) for the first time in a public forum. In the coming weeks or months after this meeting there will be an opportunity for the membership associations, educational institutions and all stake holders to have a discussion with the TC. We believe that initially this will be informal and then followed by formal consultations with written responses. Once we are invited to provide feedback, it is important that we are well-prepared to respond. It is up to us to make the TC aware of what we need as a profession. In order to communicate the needs of our profession effectively we need to be engaged and well informed. We must be in attendance.
Transitional Council of the College of Homeopaths COUNCIL MEETING
Monday, May 30th9am to 5pm
163 Queen Street East, Toronto
Please e-mail Mary Kennedy [email protected]to reserve your spot.
Please note the specific times of the public portion of the meeting will be e-mailed with your confirmation.