We noticed some extended health plan insurers in Canada are misinformed about osteopathic education in Canada. They are under the impression that osteopathic education in Canada is 4 years full time (4200 hours), the way it is in Europe. This is most likely based on World Health Organization (WHO) guideline on osteopathic education (type 1), which is mainly for Europe. There is no school in Canada offering type 1 WHO compliant 4200 hours of education in osteopathy. In Canada some schools offer only type 2 WHO compliant osteopathic education.
The reason why osteopathic education in Canada is shorter is because here joint manipulation (HVLA techniques), medical diagnosis and diagnostic imaging are outside scope of practice of manual osteopaths. Removing these subjects from osteopathic education shortens the osteopathic education in Canada. Most osteopathic schools in Canada offer programs ranging from 1000 to 2200 hours of education.
The Insurance Relations Committee of College of Registered Manual Osteopaths (Canada) has been working to educate Canadian extended health plan insurers about our profession.
One result is that Equitable Life of Canada that previously did not accept manual osteopaths who did not study 4200 hours of osteopathy, now as of today accepts manual osteopaths who are members of the College of Registered Manual Osteopaths (Canada) that have 2,200 hours of osteopathic education.
We were honoured to receive a thank you note from manager of the group health claim of Equitable Life of Canada insurance company for taking the time to educate them about the profession of manual osteopathy, its education, scope of practice and practice standards.