I just read a great blog by an Dr. Steve Nenninger, ND in New York called Naturopathic Medicine is the Treatment of Choice for the Uninsured.
The insurance issue
In Canada we are fortunate enough not to have to deal with the same private insurance landscape (nightmare?) as in the US, but the parallel here is our provincial healthcare plan. Some of my patients have additional insurance through their workplace that provides some coverage for naturopathic medicine, but about half of them don’t, which means they pay 100% out-of-pocket. Regardless, for most chronic health concerns, and depending on the insurance plan (which you pay for as well!), most patients are paying a portion of the cost for naturopathic treatment themselves. So why is it worth it?
“The treatment you get from insurance is not the treatment that will get you better.”
Doctors in Canada are also bound by “standard of care” and those protocols for treating patients are based on their medical training. This medical training is based mostly on pharmaceutical medication and does not include much on nutrition, botanical medicine, lifestyle counselling, or other holistic and gentle therapies. Seeing an MD (for “free” in Canada, although we all know it’s not really free) is not the same as seeing an ND.
“The most expensive treatment is the one that doesn’t work.”
Naturopathic medicine is focused on true healing. As an ND I am constantly focused on our goal of wellness and I am fortunate enough to have the time to spend with patients to discuss honestly how our treatment is progressing. Being ill or even just not being truly well is far more expensive than just the cost for medications and treatments. As Dr. Nenninger says: “Nothing affects your ability to be a productive human being more than being ill.”