History of osteopathy and origin of U.K.O. in Belgium.



Osteopathy blew over to Europe from its birthplace in the USA, and was introduced here by a few students of its founder, A.T. Still. This new medical approach has been received with great enthusiasm and has, based on its treatment results, earned many spurs. Witness the growing number of patients who have been consulting an osteopath since then.

The success in itself ensured that osteopathy was initially labelled as a kind of quack therapy by classical medicine in most European countries. The refusal of recognition from the 80s onwards naturally opened the doors to all kinds of training outside the recognised legal circuit.


The big disadvantage was the absence of any control by a neutral organisation, such as the government, over the quality of the courses, the competence of the teachers, the evaluation of the students' knowledge, scientific research, etc..,


Over the years, this lack of control and organisation gave way to the creation of several training institutes, one created by graduates of the other. This situation finally evolved into the creation of an umbrella organisation in the hands of the various schools, which initially set out the guidelines for practising the profession in an undemocratic manner.

In this atmosphere came the obligation of handing in the physiotherapist RIZIV number of their members, the so-called "demarkation".


Origin of the U.K.O.


The obligation to demark was a thorn in the side of many colleagues. It was the reason for the foundation of a new professional association that a priori refused to sink into illegality. The official recognition by the Ministry of Public Health took place on 3/11/2005 (publication in the B.S. 9/12/2005) The Union for graduates in Physiotherapy and Osteopathy (U.K.O.) was a fact!


After a complaint and consultation with the intermutualist college, those responsible immediately recognised the illegality of the demarkation obligation. The earlier criteria were adjusted and since 2005 the following conditions apply:


Having completed a dissertation and being in possession of a final degree in osteopathy that is accepted by the health insurance funds

2.   Having a professional indemnity insurance during the whole period that he/she is active as an osteopath

3.  The osteopaths who continue to practise chinotherapy sign a declaration that they will not charge any chinotherapy Riziv numbers if the patient already receives an "attestation osteopathy" for an osteopathy treatment on the same day.



For the time being, you can work with the RIZIV as a physiotherapist and with the health insurance funds as an osteopath.