Medical care options, alternatives should be respected

My husband and I have both been very pleased with the services of our Naturopathic Doctor over the years. We have had many ills remedied by simple measures and without prescription drugs. We are self employed and have a high deductible insurance policy, therefore, we are "self-pay." We have never filed an insurance claim. We try to work efficiently with our health care and not pay for unnecessary appointments or medications. We feel we should have the right to pursue the health care we desire and receive the services that are granted to those directed under the Medical doctors by our hospital, Central Peninsula Hospital such as a bone density scan or a sonigram. We still, on occasion, see our Medical Doctor that we think very highly of. However, the CPGH Inc. board of directors consisting of medical doctors has decided without written policy to deny access to those sort of tests to us by denying the scripts of our Naturopathic Doctor. In my opinion that is discrimination. CPH is losing revenue because of this "policy" that, for which, there is no document. CPH is the only hospital in the state to not honor the scripts of the NDs.

This article, found online at http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?admin=Y&contentid=522, outlines the issue:

"Over the past few years, licensed naturopathic physicians have made dramatic progress in expanding scope of practice and advancing their roles as primary care providers. Success, it is said, can breed contempt, as evidenced by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) report on action taken during its Congress of Delegates meeting, calling for "the Academy to oppose any expansion of naturopaths' scope of practice that is not strictly supported by their training. ... And in no case, said the delegates, should these individuals be granted 'primary care physician' status."

"The debate appears to have been fueled by a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding. ... This is yet another example of how organized conventional medicine is out of touch with today's integrative approach to health care. Naturopathic doctors across the country work closely with family practice doctors to ensure continuity and quality care is provided to patients. State legislators agree, and designate NDs as primary care in many states."

I urge readers to check out CPH website, www.cpgh.org, and read their entire "Mission Statement."

I would like to address the statement they make regarding their value of Respect in their Mission Statement:

"RESPECT: We will create a harmonious environment that will honor each person's dignity and reflect their worth."

Not only do I feel disrespected by this Medical Board, but feel they are not creating a harmonious environment as they decide to take this action against NDs who are my, and many others' health care providers. I should be able to be proactive in my own health care, decide if I want to seek out my Medical Doctor or my Naturopathic Doctor for the treatment. Aren't we encouraged to get more than one opinion when it comes to health issues? Why is this the only hospital in the state to deny ND's scripts?

I would like to encourage this Board to embrace the incredible resources they have with the Naturopathic Community. Together their healing powers would truly "create a harmonious environment that will honor each person's dignity and reflect their worth."

I am asking anyone that desires to voice their opinion on this subject to contact CPGH and speak with the Chief Executive Officer, Rick Davis 907-714-4721 or write to the Board at: 250 Hospital Place, Soldotna, AK 99669.

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