Chiropractic Legislation Passes in French National Assembly
WFC Quarterly World Report
By Editorial StaffThe Association Franaise de Chiropratique (AFC) reports that the French National Assembly (the French equivalent of the U.S. House of Representatives) has passed by voice vote on Oct. 4 amendment 178, a health care patient bill of rights first promoted by French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in 1999.
Under article 52 of the bill is language that legally recognizes chiropractic, a significant event, as chiropractors in France continue to be arrested and fined for "practicing medicine without a license."
Bill 178 is popularly called the "Kouchner law," after the bill's advocate, Bernard Kouchner,MD, the French Minister of Health. Dr. Kouchner was a founder in 1971 of the Paris-based health relief organization Medecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for its relief efforts in war zones in Biafra; Nicaragua; Vietnam; Afghanistan; Rwanda East Timor; and Kosovo.
Article 52 provides for the regulation of the use of the titles chiropracteur and osteopath. These titles will be reserved for those doctors who are duly qualified in chiropractic or osteopathy from a school, institute or university as recognized by decree (i.e., French law). Foreign-held qualifications must satisfy the requirements as determined by those educational institutions and as recognized by decree.
DC practitioners, at the date of enforcement of this law, would be recognized as duly qualified if they satisfy educational and professional experience criteria similar to those of graduates from legally recognized educational institutions.
The bill, as in the U.S., must also receive formal assent by the Senate before becoming law.
Congratulations to the AFC on this major achievement. For further information on this historic event in France, please contact Philippe Fleuriau,DC, legal affairs, AFC, at:
Multinational Study on Nonmusculoskeletal Benefits of Chiropractic
The WFC's research study into nonmusculoskeletal benefits of chiropractic care is now under way. Countries involved in this research project are Australia; Canada; Hong Kong; Japan; Mexico; South Africa; and the U.S. Pilot questionnaires have been designed by Dr. Charlotte Leboeuf-Yde and her research team in Denmark. Input from the research officers representing the countries involved has been mailed out to each research site for translation and to be used on a sample number of patients. The results will be reflected in the design of the final questionnaires, which will take into account cultural and linguistic considerations.
This project has been generously funded by NCMIC, and administered by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, both from the U.S.
For further information on this exciting project, please contact Gillian Sloane-Seale at the Secretariat:
Hong Kong DC Registration
The Hong Kong Chiropractic Association (HKCA) has indicated that the Legislative Council of Hong Kong passed the final supplementary legislation needed to enact the formal registration of DCs in Hong Kong. (See the the September 12, 2001 issue of DC or on line www.chiroweb.com/archives/19/19/07.html.) This has been a long, hard-fought battle. The Hong Kong government has finally recognized chiropractic as a primary health care profession. The Chiropractors' Council (Hong Kong) was set up in 1993 and has worked with the government to draft the rules, codes of practice, registration qualifications and fees schedule required for the chiropractors' registration, which began on September 1, 2001. This will be the first formal recognition, of chiropractic in Asia and so marks a milestone for the profession. For further details on this momentous occurrence in Hong Kong, please contact Dr Bruce Vaughan, chairman of the Chiropractors Council (Hong Kong) at .
To All Our American Colleagues
I believe that I speak for all chiropractors when I offer my heartfelt sympathy to the people of the United States for the events of September 11th. With such a massive loss of life, a tragedy such as this touches many people, in many cases directly through family, colleagues and friends, but also as a sense of outrage, anger and revulsion at the senseless, cold-blooded carnage of innocent Americans going about their daily lives.
I know how I reacted, sitting safely here in Hong Kong, as unbelievable images were replaced by more unbelievable images on my television.
I know that every American suffered a great and permanent loss. My heart goes out to all of you.
Dr. Bruce Vaughan
Court Battles Continue in Korea
Dr. Joon-Han Song, responsible for International Affairs of the Korea Chiropractic Association (KCA), has reported on recent developments in Korea on behalf of KCA President Dr. Lee Seung Won.
The KCA has expressed its appreciation to the WFC for its assistance with court cases for those doctors under criminal prosecution. Charges in a number of cases were settled with judgments of probation, and charges in another case were dropped. This is a more generous result than the previous decisions, which usually carried a monetary penalty.
Dr Su-Hie Song, daughter of the late Dr. Young-Serb Song, is still under trial and the final decision will be made soon. It is hoped this case would be handed over to the constitutional court by means of constitutional petition. A positive result in this case would lead to progress toward legalization. In another case, Dr. Won-Kyo Seo, a past president of the KCA, was held under arrest for more than three weeks and then released on bail. The KCA is continuing its efforts toward establishing a legal basis for the practice of chiropractic.
For further information on the situation in Korea, please contact Joon-Han Song, DC, MD at .
New Chiropractic School Opens in Mexico
On September 3, 2001, the first chiropractic program in the Spanish-speaking world opened in Mexico at the Universidad Estatal del Valle de Ecatepec. This is a new university created to offer programs in chiropractic and acupuncture. (See October 22 issue of DC, or on line at www.chiroweb.com/archives/19/22/15.html.)
The Universidad has 85 first-year students enrolled in the chiropractic program and is located in the suburb of Ecatepec, northeast of Mexico City in the state of Mexico with a population of approximately 4.5 million people.
The ministry of education of the state of Mexico officially recognizes the program. Dr. Enrique Benet-Canut, president of the
The curriculum is based on the program offered at Northwestern Health Sciences University and consists of 12 trimesters or 5,900 hours, as stipulated by the ministry of education of the state of Mexico.
First-year students are presently using the facilities at the Technological Institute of Higher Education of Ecatepec, right next to the site of the future campus of the Universidad. The students will graduate with a licenciatura (given to all students graduating in dentistry, medicine, etc., in Mexico), equivalent to a DC degree.
This project has been one of the main objectives of the Colegio de Profesionistas Científico-Quiroprácticos de México since its inception in 1984.
This is the first chiropractic program in the world to be offered in Spanish at a state-funded university. It is open to students who have obtained their bachillerato (equivalent to the first two years of college in the North American education system) and will be offered once a year until the facilities of the university are completed and the faculty expanded.
The overall chiropractic degree course will have a large clinic at its disposal, and includes social service programs, cooperation with the other health science disciplines and research projects. Students will have to complete an undergraduate thesis based on their own research project. The basic science courses will be taught by professors from the National Autonomous University and the Polytechnic Institute who specialize in anatomy, biochemistry, histology, etc.
The Universidad is very keen on promoting and maintaining a close association with all the other chiropractic colleges the world over and the major international chiropractic organizations such as the WFC and FICS.
For further information, please contact Dr. Enrique Benet-Canut at
Regulatory Board Established in the Netherlands
As of this April, the Netherlands has an independent licensing and regulatory board for chiropractic, the Foundation for Chiropractic in the Netherlands (SCN). Dr. Charles Pfeifle has been named the first chairman of the SCN.
This development was due to increasing pressure from antitrust laws governing monopoly situations that could develop with only one chiropractic association. Recently a small new association was started, which now makes it difficult for governing agencies and insurance companies to determine the qualifications of those chiropractors for which patients are reimbursed. This is also seen as divisive and counterproductive for the profession.
To establish real and objective qualifications for chiropractic and chiropractors, the SCN was established with the assistance of the Netherlands Chiropractors' Association (NCA). The goals are to define chiropractic education, establish and maintain a graduate education program, postgraduate regulations and activities, create a disciplinary board, and establish contact with governing bodies and insurance companies to ensure optimal use of qualified chiropractic care.
After a careful start, with the support and blessing of the NCA, the SCN is now an independent agency and has no further formal connections with professional organizations. The NCA no longer maintains the register of qualified chiropractors for insurance and other "official" matters, and will in the future concentrate its efforts on serving the profession outside the regulatory area.
For further information on the newly formed Foundation for Chiropractic in the Netherlands, please contact its chairman, Charles Pfeifle,DC, at: .
Chiropractic Unit Established in Ugandan Hospital
Dr. Charles Sebwana, president of the newly-formed Chiropractic Association of Uganda, which was officially admitted to the WFC at its 6th Biennial Assembly in Paris last May, has reported great strides for the chiropractic profession in Uganda.
After several meetings and consultations over the past year with senior officials at Mulago Hospital, the national referral hospital in Kampala, and at the ministry of health, a chiropractic unit has been established at Mulago Hospital. Dr Sebwana indicates that a job description for chiropractic, which he drafted with the assistance of the WFC, has also been approved by the ministry. This will be used by the Health Service Commission in its recruitment efforts of chiropractors to Mulago Hospital, which is anticipated to commence before the end of this year.
Dr. Sebwana is now being assisted in his pioneering work in Uganda by Dr. Nakato Mubanda, a 1997 Life graduate who is presently pursuing a master's in acupuncture in New York. She hopes to return to Uganda by the end of 2002 to practice chiropractic and acupuncture, and also to teach complementary medicine at the university.
For more information on these exciting developments in Uganda, please contact either Dr. Sebwana at , or Dr. Mubanda at .
NBCE Stands Ready to Aid International Chiropractic Community
As chiropractic continues to grow internationally, a debate is arising over questions like these: What should be incorporated into chiropractic education and training? What clinical skills are required to be a successful chiropractor? How do we appropriately assess a candidate's readiness for entry-level practice? Under the leadership of President Peter Ferguson, the U.S.-based National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) is developing an action plan to lead the discussion required in answering questions like these around the world.
At the core of this plan, Dr. Ferguson recently announced the formation of an ad hoc committee on international affairs. "When I became president of the national board," says Dr. Ferguson, "I envisioned projects including implementing computerized testing and improving relations with those whom we serve. Equally important was expanding the NBCE's role in chiropractic at the international level."
Dr. D. Brent Owens, NBCE director-at-large, will chair the new committee. Dr. Owens brings years of administrative skills to this post, and an appreciation for international licensure and testing issues. "We are excited about the prospect of being part of the international explosion of chiropractic throughout the world," says Dr. Owens. "Addressing the concept of international testing represents one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the national board since its inception."
As the testing agency for the chiropractic profession, the NBCE is uniquely positioned to lead the collaborative effort required to address international testing and licensure issues. "The NBCE has a proven track record of 38 years of service to licensure jurisdictions and the chiropractic community," said Dr. Owens. "We are proud of that record, and will continue to work for the betterment of the profession."
As one way to enhance the profession, the NBCE will offer its testing expertise to foreign jurisdictions. The board will also work with groups including the WFC and other international groups, government agencies, and chiropractic organizations and associations, to further the cause of international test development. While the NBCE is committed to its leadership position in guiding this discussion, it also recognizes the self-determination and diversity of each country. The NBCE's goal is to allow the scope of individual practice to be determined on a local level, while providing appropriate third-party assessment of international chiropractic education programs for registration or licensure.
"As in the U.S., the respective chiropractic examinations given in foreign countries will be a reflection and blend of the practice patterns, laws and standards established by authorized agencies within the respective jurisdictions." said Dr. Owens.
One country already in partnership with NBCE is Japan. While at the WFC Congress in May in Paris, NBCE Vice President Dr. James Badge signed an agreement to collaborate with the Japanese Association of Chiropractors. This agreement will result in the development of a fair, objective and appropriate Japanese registration examination that will be used to determine the fitness of candidates to practice chiropractic in that country.
The NBCE will continue to work with established chiropractic colleges in the U.S. and other countries on individual projects involving translated examinations that meet the unique needs of each jurisdiction. The NBCE invites the cooperation of chiropractic leadership in each country to aid in establishing appropriate guidelines, practice parameters, and acceptable educational levels. "We welcome input from anyone interested in the area of international test development," says Dr. Owens. "We would be especially interested in talking to representatives of countries thinking about test development and the various approaches to chiropractic practice assessment."
For further details, visit www.nbce.org.
Councils on Chiropractic Education International Formed
This past July in Brussels, Belgium, representatives of the Australasian Council on Chiropractic Education (ACCE), Council on Chiropractic Education of Canada (CCEC), European Council on Chiropractic Education (ECCE), and Council on Chiropractic Education United States (CCE U.S.), met to formally establish the Councils on Chiropractic Education International (CCEI). (See October 8 issue of DC, or on line at www.chiroweb.com/archives/19/21/10.html.)
The CCEI is an international agency whose primary purpose is to promote and oversee high quality standards for chiropractic education on a worldwide basis.
During the past year, representatives of ACCE, CCEC, ECCE, and CCE U.S., met to develop effective model standards and the organizational structure for CCEI. The Councils on Chiropractic Education- International will make available its services and expertise to leaders of chiropractic education programs worldwide. CCEI will develop opportunities for accreditation of chiropractic education programs where, at present, no CCE exists. CCEI will aid and recognize new accreditation agencies that implement the CCEI model standards and meet other qualification requirements.
The founding board of directors comprises Drs. Peter Drake and John Sweaney (ACCE); Dr. Grayden Bridge and Mr. Peter Waite (CCEC); Drs. Anfinn Kilvaer and Susan Steward (ECCE); and Drs. Joseph Brimhall and Reed Phillips (CCE U.S.). The newly elected CCEI officers are Dr. Anfinn Kilvaer (president), and Dr. Reed Phillips (vice president). Dr. Paul Walker is the executive director of CCEI.
Those wishing further information regarding the mission and activities of CCEI are encouraged to contact Dr. Paul Walker at the CCE Secretariat in Scottsdale, AZ, U.S.:
World Federation of Chiropractic
tel: (416) 484-9978
fax: (416) 484-9665