The French love complementary medicine – making it far more mainstream than here in the UK. But for many years osteopaths have not enjoyed the same status as other alternative therapists. With no strict rules around training, osteopathy has always been classed a “legal business activity” more than a true complementary medicine. But not anymore.
To call yourself an osteopath in France, you now need to have at least 3 years and 2600+ hours of training.
As most osteopath courses in France last for just two years an interim period has been introduced to allow osteopaths to submit their professional qualifications to the Prefecture for approval.
As most osteopath courses in France have been just two year in duration, an interim period has been introduced, to allow osteopaths to submit their professional qualifications to the Prefecture for approval.
Interestingly, osteopaths who have trained in other EU countries such as the UK, Belgium and Germany have probably completed at least 5 years training and so will have no problem having their qualifications accepted.
The result of this legislation is that there will be fewer osteopaths but those who continue to practice will be better trained. In view of some of the work they do, such as manipulation of spines and necks, this is a welcome development.
Despite this change, there still does not seem to be any reimbursement offered by social security (la Sécu) for osteopath treatment. However, some complementary insurers will include a benefit for complementary medicines including osteopathy.
Consultations with GPs and physios do enjoy a level of cover by la Sécu (70% and 60%
respectively) so if one has the required training, this is a back door method of obtaining a level of reimbursement.