The OEGO – Austrian Association of Osteopathy – was established in 1995.
The primary objective of the Austrian Association is to promote Osteopathy in Austria and to represent the interests of Osteopaths as a professional organization.
The overall goal, the OEGO is striving for, is of course to establish Osteopathy as a legally regulated and recognized medical profession in the Austrian Health Care System.
Currently the OEGO estimates that approximately 1000 Osteopaths are working in Austria. Around 50% of those are at the moment members of the OEGO.
At the moment Osteopathy is not legally regulated in Austria which unfortunately also implies that the professional title “Osteopath” is not protected by law and that there is no legislation for professional conduct as well as legal guidelines for high quality education in Osteopathy in Austria.
Professional education in Osteopathy in Austria is currently possible as in – service training to people with a basic medical profession. The majority of Osteopaths in Austria are Physiotherapists with additional education in Osteopathy. The second largest group are medical doctors. There is also a small group of Occupational therapist, midwifes and massage therapists working as Osteopaths in Austria.
Osteopaths, who are therapists (e.g. Physiotherapists) in regards to their basic medical profession, require a referral from a medical doctor. First contact treatment is in Austria reserved – according to current legal regulation – to medical doctors only.
The OEGO has since 2005 been in more or less regular negotiations with the responsible political institutions trying to promote Osteopathy as a legally recognized medical profession. Unfortunately so far all endevours in that respect have been unsuccessful. There appears to be no interest in legally regulating Osteopathy in Austria despite the fact that Osteopathy is becoming increasingly popular in Austria amongst patients seeking professional treatment for their dysfunctions and despite the international devolpment within Europe in regards to recognizing Osteopathy.