Regulatory developments in the Nordics

On the 17. March the Norwegian parliament voted in favour of a legal proposition to regulate osteopathy as a primary healthcare profession. This was the second and final vote needed. There are still some formalities needing to be finalised and we expect this to be fulfilled shortly. Anyone wanting to provide osteopathic healthcare will need to apply and register with the health ministry, following the same procedure as for all other healthcare professionals.

With the Norwegian parliament vote, four out of five Nordic countries now have regulation. Finland and Iceland have been regulated for many years and Denmark became regulated in 2018. Sweden is working towards regulation with renewed energy, as a result of the recent achievements in their neighbouring countries.

The Nordic Osteopathic Alliance has been working actively to promote and support regulation and the recognition of osteopathy. Joint projects include the Nordic Osteopathic Congress, which this year is to be hosted by Danske Osteopater in September in Copenhagen and the Nordic Osteopathic Journal, with a yearly issue currently edited in Norway by Norsk Osteopatforbund, in addition to a number of webinars and workshops for members.

The Nordic Osteopathic Alliance promotes regulation based on the CEN standard and the WHO benchmark document. Together we support high standards for osteopathic education, delivered in the format of degrees supported by a transcript of records according to the pan European EQF for higher education. Regulation of osteopathic healthcare provision needs to follow the same rules and regulations that apply for any healthcare profession in the Nordic region, and beyond.

Harmonisation of regulation will promote academic and professional exchange, and enable osteopaths crossing borders.