Complementary and Alternative Medicine
CAM - for a healthier Europe

Regulation of CAM practice

Some European countries have government-administered regulations or laws about the practice of CAM in general, some have sections on CAM included in their health laws, some regulate specific CAM therapies, while many national health systems do not recognise or regulate CAM at all. 

The CAMbrella report describes the situation as follows:

17 countries have a general CAM legislation, 11 of these countries with a specific CAM law and 6 countries with CAM sections included in their general healthcare legislation. In addition to the general CAM legislation some countries have regulations on specific CAM treatments.

Of the 15 original EU member countries (joined the EU before 1996), 3 (Belgium, Germany and Portugal) have a general CAM law. Denmark has a “law on a self-regulatory registration system for alternative practitioners”. These 4 countries have additional regulations on specific CAM treatments.

10 of the original EU Member States have regulations on specific CAM treatments. (Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden, UK). Ireland does not have specific regulations of any CAM treatment.

All 4 EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) have a general CAM legislation. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have CAM laws and Switzerland has regulated CAM in their general healthcare legislation.

3 of the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004 have a general CAM legislation. Hungary and Slovenia have a CAM law and Malta have general CAM legislation included in their general healthcare legislation. The other 7 Member States that joined in 2004 (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia) have regulations on specific CAM treatments.

The 2 new Member States that joined the EU in 2007, Bulgaria and Romania, have a general CAM legislation as well as specific CAM treatment regulations.

The 4 candidate countries have different regulations. Macedonia has a general CAM legislation, but no CAM law. Turkey has some specific CAM treatment regulations, and Croatia and Montenegro have no CAM regulations. Montenegro has a CAM law in progress. (Iceland is also a candidate country, but is in this report included in the EFTA section).

All 3 potential candidate countries have some general CAM regulations. Serbia has a CAM law, Albania and Bosnia & Herzegovina have some general CAM regulations within their general healthcare legislation. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a CAM law in progress.

The CAMbrella report “Legal status and regulation of CAM in Europe. Part I - CAM regulations in the European countries” provides more detailed information. It is available here.

Secretariat:
Rue du Trône 194
1050 Brussels
Belgium
T: +32 2 644 00 20
E: info@cam-europe.eu


Spokesperson:
Dr Ton Nicolai
T: +31 650 613 430
E: spokesperson@cam-europe.eu