Information Regarding COVID-19

The COVID-19 situation is fluid and changing on an ongoing basis. As such, guidance is shifting to keep up with the most relevant and factual information available.

Communications from Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer

The following information is provided to health care workers by Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, regarding the expectations for regulated health professionals in BC, and also regarding preventing the spread of infection, including information regarding travel, self-isolation, and office cleaning in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Additional information provided by the Office of the Provincial Health Officer about COVID-19 can be found here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus.

Communications from the CNPBC to Naturopathic Doctors

The following are our communications to registrants about COVID-19:

BC Center for Disease Control (BCCDC)

The British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC) has provided a website for COVID-19 information: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/. It is also working with provincial and federal partners on surveillance, diagnostic testing, and infection control measures for the COVID-19 outbreak. They have developed a page with helpful information specifically designed for health care professionals and public health partners: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-professionals/clinical-resources/covid-19-care.

Ministry of Health

Health Canada

Health Canada has created a need to know resource guide for health care professionals, which covers the spectrum of illness, transmission, epidemiological information, detecting and reporting, infection prevention and control, treatment, and guidance: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals.html.

Public Health Agency of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada has provided useful information for the public pertaining to transmission, symptoms, prevention, testing, self-monitoring and self-isolation, and treatment. They have also provided useful awareness resources:

Telemedicine

We have recently received a number of queries regarding telemedicine. Specifically, some have asked whether an initial patient visit must take place in person, rather than by telemedicine.

The telemedicine standard (http://www.cnpbc.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/Standard-of-Practice-on-Telemedicine-March-20201.pdf) does not prohibit a naturopathic doctor seeing a patient for the first time via telemedicine.

The telemedicine standard requires that naturopathic doctors “consider the patient’s existing health status, specific health care needs, and specific circumstances, and only use telemedicine if the risks do not outweigh the potential benefits and it is in the patient’s best interest.” Naturopathic doctors are obliged to meet the standard of care in their assessment and treatment of patients.

The CNPBC reiterates the recommendation that appointments should be cancelled, postponed, or provided by telemedicine in a manner consistent with the CNPBC’s Telemedicine Standard and Code of Conduct/Code of Ethics. It is generally recommended that naturopathic doctors should not see patients for in-person visits at this time. Exceptions should be rare and confined to situations in which a patient is at risk of imminent or serious harm and alternative care is unavailable.

Additional Resources