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The Legal Framework


The Legal Framework
Professional Associations

Unlike the legislators of other European countries, Italian lawmakers have not yet issued special laws to regulate the training and professional activity of osteopaths. Despite this legislative void, however, no osteopath under investigation for unauthorized practice of the medical profession has ever been pronounced guilty. This appears to be a further proof that about 2,000 osteopaths operate legitimately in Italy.
The recent Italian Law n. 4/2013 could allow the integration of osteopathy in the framework of unregulated liberal professions. From our point of view, this is not a proper way to define the practice of Osteopathy in Italy: patients should be protected by enacting proper institutional health regulations.

On this issue, it is of no little importance to mention a comment to the above mentioned law, released by the Italian Ministry of Health on February 2, 2013: "The skills and activities of diagnosis, care, assistance, rehabilitation and prevention in the health field should be reserved to health professionals (...). The activities reserved by law to health professionals (...) are not included in those regulated by the law recognizing unregulated professions, Italian Law 4/2013 (Ed.) (...). Citizens should be informed about the professions authorized to take care of their health".

To safeguard its students, the Regulations of Istituto Europeo per la Medicina Osteopatica provide five and six years of training, strictly adhering to the standards adopted in the international centres for osteopathic training, already acknowledged and/or referenced by the most important institutions, e.g. other EU governments and the World Health Organization. IEMO implements common training programs with the above mentioned centres, complying with the highest standards in view of the recognition of the profession in Italy.
Also because of this long-standing international cooperation IEMO has been authorized to teach osteopathy by the Italian Ministry of Education. Therefore, in the absence of a special law regulating the practice of osteopathy in Italy, IEMO is currently qualified to offer the best professional skills available in our country.
Furthermore, the Italian National Committee for Continuous Medical Education authorized IEMO to train health operators, thereby confirming the educational legitimacy and the close relationship between Osteopathy and health education, which is an essential and unavoidable feature characteristic of the most serious studies in this field (cf: IEMO in Annuario 2013 della Formazione sanitaria ).

Finally, the French official certification issued at the end of the Italian courses allows IEMO graduates to practice in all the countries (both European and international) where this educational qualification is recognized by the rules and regulations in force. Consequently, IEMO graduates can boast a certified training which distinctly qualifies them, even in Italy, as best professional practitioners.

For all the above mentioned reasons and because of the excellence of their educational training, IEMO graduates do not need to engage in any further training such as masseur's courses in order to acquire a pseudo-professional legitimacy. All they need is register as osteopaths with the Italian VAT register and mention their qualification in all written communications with their patients (also cf. Italian Law 4/2013).

Osteopaths holding a D.O. degree upon completion of IEMO courses can select an Association which more than others represents and protects their specific professional and deontological scope, offering the most effective and transparent services aimed at controlling and supporting their profession, and providing certification, information and continuous education. IEMO unequivocally recommends Associazione professionale degli osteopati, which complies with the above mentioned principles.