France

NewsNew regulation found after the CAMbrella deliveries:

23.02.2015
The French government has on September 12, 2014 (322) and December 12, 2014(323) decided two new decrees on standards of osteopathic training required to practise as an osteopath in France.

The French government has on March 24, 2014, with consolidated versions February 5, 2015 (324, 325, 326), decided three governmental decrees on the training of chiropractors and accreditation of training institutions in Chiropractic. One of the decrees includes regulations related to educational exemptions that could be granted for the preparation Diploma allowing using the title of chiropractor.


Notice! All text below is copied from the CAMbrella report – delivered Dec 31, 2012

In this summary, you will find:

  • Direct links to the legislation of specific CAM therapies in France
  • The legal and regulatory status of CAM and CAM practices in France
  • The governmental supervision of CAM practices in France
  • The reimbursement status of CAM practices and medicinal products in France
Go directly to legislation of specific CAM therapies in France:
Acupuncture – Anthroposophic medicine – Ayurveda – Chiropractic – Herbal medicine/Phytotherapy –
Homeopathy – Massage – Naprapathy – Naturopathy – Neural therapy – Osteopathy – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – Other treatments

France was a founding member of the European Union (EU) in 1952 (11), and a founding
member of the Council of Europe on 5 May 1949 (12).

The legal and regulatory status of CAM and CAM practices

There is no CAM law in France (43106). Only legally regulated personnel may treat patients, and by that only medically qualified professionals are allowed to practise CAM (43106). Acupuncture, anthroposophic medicine and homeopathy are regulated by the medical association and osteopathy is statutory regulated by the government (106110).

In the later years the practice of chiropractic, osteopathy and acupuncture are by the medical orders considered as “responsible professional conduct”(43). Other health professionals provide treatment according to regulations provided by the State
Council decree issued after consultation with the National Academy of Medicine (111).
Teaching complementary/alternative medicine to physicians is permitted. Private schools, however, may not issue diplomas to their graduates. According to Article 4 of the Act of 18 March 1880, only the State has this power (44).

The University of Bobigny established the Department of Natural Medicines in 1982. Since then, diplomas have been awarded in acupuncture, homeopathy, phytotherapy, osteopathy, auriculotherapy, naturopathy, oligotherapy, and mesotherapy and from 1990, the University Diploma in Natural Medicines (44).

In addition to the medical acts usually reserved for physicians, the following is strictly
restricted to physicians:

  • All manipulations of joints, enclosing slipped disc, osteopathy, vertebral therapy and
    chiropractics; and
  • Specific physiotherapeutic acts (112).

The governmental supervision of CAM Practices

The Ministry of Health includes a directorate of social security who is supervising social
security organizations including the health insurance funds and schemes (112). According to “Le code de santé publique” (The Code of Public Health), article L4161-1, “persons other than licensed physicians who habitually or continuously diagnose or treat  illnesses, real or supposed, or who perform activities constituting medical procedures are illegally practising medicine” (28111).

Supervision is managed by two types of professional organizations:

  • Professional associations for doctors, pharmacists, dentists and midwives who are
    concerned with medical ethics and the supervision of professional practice.
  • Trade unions looking after the interests of different professional groups (112).

Doctors, dental surgeons and pharmacists are self-regulated through their professional
organizations at national and department level, in terms of professional ethics and the right to practice (112).

The National Agency for Accreditation and Health Care Evaluation (ANAES)
is responsible for issuing and disseminating recommendations and practice guidelines and for assisting doctors in evaluating their practices (112).

The reimbursement status of CAM practices and medicinal products

The health insurance schemes are under the supervision of the Social Security Directorate of the Ministry of Social Security. Every year the parliament passes an Act on Social Security (112).

The 2001 Act improved the benefits provided by the health insurance scheme for selfemployed people, aligning them with those provided by the health insurance scheme for salaried workers. The 2002 Act has renewed an agreement between the health insurance funds and health care professionals’ organizations.

Consultation with a statutorily recognized healthcare practitioner is free of charge (70).
Acupuncture, homeopathy and massage is reimbursed by the national insurance system
(acupuncture treatment by national and private insurance, consultation with an
anthroposophic physician is partially covered by national and private insurance
companies)(106110).

Homeopathic remedies are partly reimbursed (35%) by the basic
national insurance system. Specific medical activities and products are covered, including chiropractic, medical phytotherapy consultations, and complementary/alternative technical sessions with an approved kinesiotherapist (44).