ALTERNATIVE CARE: Providers to Vie for Piece of Legislative Pie
Alternative care providers are "lining up for a stake in Sacramento's liberal climate, a month short of the deadline for introducing new bills," the San Francisco Business Times reports. The California Medical Association said last week that "it expects three groups of health care practitioners -- optometrists, midwives and naturopaths -- to try to expand their scopes of practices under the new Democratic governor and legislature." According to the CMA, optometrists are likely to introduce a bill permitting them "to treat glaucoma, prescribe more topical drugs, administer injections and suture areas in and around the eyes." Midwives have already met with the CMA to find a "middle ground" with the doctors group to allow them to perform at-home births without the supervision of a doctor. And naturopaths are expected to attempt to "legally establish naturopathy in California." Bob McElderry, assistant director of government relations for the CMA said, "Doctors are always defending the practice of medicine for the people who went to medical school." The CMA wants to ensure that alternative caregivers would not stray outside their sphere of knowledge, according to McElderry (Bole, 2/1 issue).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.