Adelaide Hills naturopath Wayne Liebelt has been given an interim prohibition order from the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) for an article he wrote against COVID-19 vaccinations in June 2021.
This case is currently under investigation from the HCSCC, and ARONAH is not in a position to comment on the specifics of this circumstance however ARONAH can make the following general points:
- Naturopaths are primary care practitioners, and in the last 12 months, approximately 7% of Australians have consulted with a naturopath, across diverse age groups and geographical locations, and for a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. Naturopathy is the most visited unregistered primary care health profession in Australia.
- Naturopathy is currently an unregistered health profession and is governed by various codes of conduct in each state and territory of Australia including the HCSCC.
- Naturopaths are bound by the public health directives issued by Chief Health Officers under State and Territory public health laws including with respect to COVID-19
- Since 2018 the minimum standard of education in naturopathy is a Bachelor degree however no title protection is present for naturopaths, so anyone can call themselves a naturopath with varying levels of education and experience.
- Registration under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme is the only means through which education standards for entry to practise as a naturopath can be enforced
- Statutory registration allows breaches of the code of conduct to be addressed with restriction of practice alongside education of the practitioner, to address any gaps in their knowledge.
- Naturopathy and Western Herbal medicine practitioners are the only professions that are not yet registered, however have been formally assessed by the federal government as requiring registration. A government report recommending registration for these two professions has been tabled at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) since 2008, yet they are still not included in the scheme.
- For more than ten years, the Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists (ARONAH) has been urging the government to protect the public and register the professions of naturopaths and Western herbalists.
- In the absence of statutory registration, ARONAH was formed to uphold education standards and code of conduct for the professions of naturopath and Western Herbalist. However, unless an individual is a member of ARONAH (which is a voluntary register), ARONAH does not have the ability to act to address any breaches.
Please contact ARONAH at info @ ARONAH.org for more information.