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Present Osteopathy in Austria


Author: Jutta Eckmayr
Supervisor: Brigitte Mazohl

Background: Since 1990 the meaning of osteopathy is increasing as well as in Europe and Austria. Since today osteopath is not an official profession in Austria. The Austrian society for osteopathy demands a legal recognition and the right  for a first contact of the patient. But social insurance agencies and other organizations increase their critics on osteopathic therapy as a form of physiotherapeutical treatment.

H0a: In Austria the requirements for a legal recognition and integration into the health system are met by osteopathy.
H0b: The requirements for the right for a new patient contact are met by osteopathy in Austria.

Methodology: On the basis on literary- and primary sources this master thesis is an empirical work. An extensive investigation of literary and internet sources and additional information and opinions of executive organizations are the sources of this thesis. Different exploratory focus has been put on each chapter to investigate the subject as profound as possible.

Results: Based on the research the first null hypothesis can be approved but the second null hypothesis needs to be rejected. Most of the requirements to fulfill a definition of a job description or profession are met by osteopathy. Therefore a legal recognition is recommended and justified. The request for the right to a first patient contact needs to be rejected. An integration into the Austrian health system as a first step and a further scientification of osteopathy as another would be subsequent requirements.

Conclusion: The department of health contemplates to alter its direction but meets resistance of the medical fraternity. Conceivably the hierarchical structures of the health system will develop to interdisciplinary supply models. Through a legal recognition osteopathy should be able to participate on such models and the different professions will be able to benefit from each other. As long as the situation remains the same the legal situation for osteopaths is ambiguous. A further professionalization will solve this state.