Report from the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC)

Country News

By Editorial Staff
Bolivia - Dr. Ronald Lee Firestone, president of the Asociación Boliviana de Quiroprácticos Científicos Profesionales, who, like his son, Dr. Rusty Firestone, is a graduate of the Southern California University of Health Sciences (formerly LACC), reported in Paris that chiropractic is now on a secure footing in his country. The long process of legal recognition of a health profession that is adopted in most Latin American countries is nearly complete. Firstly, the ministry of education must validate and accept the chiropractic degree qualification; then an association must be legally formed and recognized by the ministry of health. Both those steps are now complete in Bolivia. Then either the association or its related college must be authorized to grant new cedulas, or licences. That authorization is now imminent.

Finland - FCU President Dr. Raine Mäkelä reported that the number of chiropractors in Finland is expected to double from approximately 30 to 60 during the next five years, given the number of students in school. While chiropractic is regulated by law in Finland, it does not offer full protection of title, but that will arrive with amended legislation coming into force on January 1, 2002. This will pave the way for public funding for chiropractic services and negotiations to establish chiropractic education in Finland.

France - Dr. Sylvain Parny, AFC president, reported that while the practice of chiropractic remains unauthorized here, a series of meetings were held with the ministry of health through October 2000, and that the minister of health has now received a confidential ministry report on the future regulation of chiropractic, manual therapy and osteopathy. The contents of the report, and what action will be taken, are not yet known.

Meanwhile, France's chiropractic school, Institut Franco-Europ³en de Chiropratique (IFEC) in Paris, continues to grow in size and status.

Hong Kong - Hong Kong, now a special administrative region of China, but still enjoying the same democratic freedoms as before, has 61 chiropractors for eight million people. Dr Edward Lee, HKCA president, reported that there has been a long process to develop regulations under the licensing legislation, the 1993 Hong Kong Chiropractors' Registration Ordinance, but formal registration with protection of title finally began in June 2001.

Iran - During the past year, the WFC has reported on the 10-year campaign by the Iranian Doctors of Chiropractic Association to obtain legal recognition and regulation of chiropractic services in Iran, finally successful early this year. In Paris, to applause, Dr. Matthew Givrad announced that the first chiropractic license had been issued in early May.

Japan - Dr. Hirofumi Nakatsuka, president of the Japanese Association of Chiropractors, reported on significant educational developments. As of March 2001, RMIT Japan, the one established chiropractic school, had graduated 145 chiropractors from its conversion program - a bachelor's degree program designed to bring lay persons practicing chiropractic up to a minimum acceptable level for "grandparenting" under future licensing laws. Four North American colleges (Cleveland College, CMCC, Life West and SCUHS) are working with unaccredited Japanese schools to develop similar conversion programs and then full undergraduate professional programs.

The Netherlands - Dr. Arjan Kuipers, NCA president, explained that the number of chiropractors in The Netherlands has increased from about 20 in 1980 to about 160 today. Chiropractic is flourishing and chiropractors may use a full scope of practice, including diagnostic x-ray, even though there is no licensing legislation. A major barrier to recognition of the profession is the lack of a chiropractic school in the country.

Singapore - The Singapore government has recently initiated meetings with the Chiropractors' Association of Singapore (CAS) with a view to legislation to regulate the practice of chiropractic, advised CAS President, Dr. Janet Ruth Sosna. In a departure from past practice, the government is now asking the association to approve the qualifications of those seeking work permits to practice as chiropractors in Singapore. Singapore currently has 11 chiropractors, and four students in accredited colleges.

Spain - Dr. Claudia Sandino of Valencia, representing the AsociaciÑn Espaøola de Quiropràctica (AEQ), reported that approximately 85 percent of Spain's 100 chiropractors are members of the AEQ. There are many expatriates; only 25 percent of the professionals here are Spanish. Although the practice of chiropractic remains technically illegal, Spaniards and nationals from other European Union countries are able to get permits to practice. There seems to be much less risk of any prosecution now that two recent cases against chiropractors have been defended successfully.

South Africa - Dr. Chris Neethling, past president of the Chiropractic Association of South Africa (CASA), reported that chiropractic here is in very sound health: the CASA represents approximately 160 members (80 percent of the country's 200 chiropractors), the two state-funded schools are growing, and there is increased public and medical acceptance of chiropractic services. The South African Spine Society has recently opened its membership to chiropractors. Perhaps the profession's major challenge is attracting strong international faculty for the two chiropractic colleges. If you know anyone interested, contact Dr. Neethling at .

United Kingdom - Registration under the Chiropractors' Act finally came into force June 14, 2001. BCA President Dr. Mike Barber reported that as of that date, it is illegal to practice chiropractic in the U.K. unless you are registered under the General Chiropractors' Council. Over 1,100 chiropractors are registered and another 400 applications are being processed.

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