Chiropractic in Norway, part of the mainstream health care

The Chiropractic profession is well-established and respected in the Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – where it is seen as an integral part of the mainstream health care system. This is particularly so in Norway with an identity of neuromusculoskeletal expertise during the past decade. Following a pilot project in 2002-2003 which demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care, there has been government funding for chiropractic services, including diagnostic imaging (plain film, MRI, CT).

Arthur Lundh, a Norwegian soldier who, despite terrible experiences survived the first world war and after studying in Davenport, Iowa, became the first chiropractor in Norway, and started the Norwegian Chiropractors’ Association in 1936. He was soon accused of quackery and brought to trial by the medical association. He brought six of his patients to stand witness for him. Apart from being well as a result of his treatments, they had one other thing in common – they were all medical doctors; some of them medical professors. Arthur Lundh was acquitted on all charges. The first major battle of chiropractic in Norway was won.

Today chiropractors in Norway have:
– The right to order all kinds of diagnostic imagery, all paid for by the state.
– The right to refer patients to hospital, to a medical specialist and to physiotherapy.
– The right to sick leave patients.
– State reimbursement of part of the treatment fee for all patients.
– Mandatory one-year internship where some of the training is the responsibility of, and paid by, the University of Oslo.
– State grants for postgraduate education and development.

* Chiropractic Report, May 2007. Vol. 21, No.3 and Backspace, February 2008.

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