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Switzerland: new law recognises osteopathy as a health profession

2016/06/24

On 7 June 2016, Switzerland adopted a law that acknowledges osteopathy as a health profession as well as providing for a master´s degree to become an osteopath.

On 7 June 2016, Switzerland adopted a law that acknowledges osteopathy as a health profession as well as providing for a master´s degree to become an osteopath.

After the Council of States, on 7 June 2016 the Swiss National Council approved - by a vote of 181 to 5 - a new law aimed at improving the quality of the care and safety of patients. This is a new evolution for osteopathy in Switzerland, after recognition of the profession by the protection of the title of osteopath since 1 January 2013.

This new law introduces a directory of the health professions, on the model of that of the medical professions which already lists the doctors, dentists, chiropractors, pharmacists and veterinarians.

Thus, the introduction of this directory strives above all to harmonise the rules concerning the training of the health professionals, notably of nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, midwives, dietitians, optometrists and osteopaths with the existing system for the medical professions.

This will make it possible to ensure the quality of training for health professionals, and moreover will permit disciplinary measures to be taken against professionals if they fail to respect the rules established at the federal level.

The law also seeks to improve patient safety. Henceforth, in the interest of the patients, the exercise of a health profession will be subject to authorisation as well as to professional duties and disciplinary measures. The conditions for receiving authorisation to practice will be established at the federal level.

The list of professions concerned as well as the level of the degree foreseen for each profession are topics that have been debated for a long time. 

Concerning osteopathy, in accordance with the opinions of the Federal Council and the Council of States, the National Council decided that osteopathy will now benefit from a master’s level training.

The definition of clear and uniform competencies should also permit recognition of foreign degrees and encourage intercantonal mobility.

Paris, 8 June 2016,

The Board of Directors

Source: http://www.osteopathe-syndicat.fr/suisse-une-nouvelle-loi-reconnait-l-osteopathie-a-un-grade-master-et-comme-profession-de-sante