Mandatory Referrals


The General Regulation under the Naturopathy Act, 2007 includes a series of mandatory referral indicators.  That means when certain conditions exist, a naturopath must refer a patient to a physician, nurse practitioner extended class or a member of another regulated health profession.  The conditions include situations where:
  • A patient’s life is or may be at risk (in such cases, a naturopath must call emergency services and transfer the patient to a hospital).
  • A patient’s condition prevents the naturopath from communicating a diagnosis because the condition is beyond the scope of practice of the profession.
  • Treatment of a patient’s condition is beyond the scope of practice of the profession.
  • Treatment of a patient’s condition requires diagnostic, monitoring or treatment related technology that is beyond the scope of practice of the profession.
  • The patient or their authorized representative asks the naturopath to refer the patient to another naturopath, or to a member of another health profession.
  • A laboratory test result is a critical value test result, which means it shows a marked deviation from the reference ranges, with no clear indication to the laboratory that these are expected deviations.
  • The patient’s response to treatment is not adequate and unlikely to improve based on alternative treatments available from the naturopath, or the patient’s condition significantly deteriorates and is likely to continue to do so without a referral.

Supportive or Other Health Services after Referral



A naturopath who has been required to refer a patient is not prohibited from providing supportive or other health services, within the scope of practice of the profession, provided they collaborate with:
  • The person to whom the patient was referred.
  • The patient.