Saturday, February 8, 2014

Public Safety Warning to osteopathy patients and insurers

COMPO encourages patients; prior to booking an appointment with an osteopathic manual practitioner (OMP), to check if the OMP is a COMPO member. This would assure that the OMP has the knowledge and credential to offer safe and effective manual osteopathic treatment and that the COMPO code of ethics is followed. 

Patients and insurers should be aware that the term “osteopathy” and “osteopath” in Ontario is protected under the regulated health act. They are used by osteopathic physicians (US trained) that are permitted to perform surgery and prescribe medication. These doctors of osteopathy are governed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. This profession is commonly called “American style osteopathy or Osteopathic medicine”.

However the vast majority of practitioners using osteopathic techniques in Ontario are osteopathic manual practitioners (also known as manual osteopaths or European style osteopaths). Currently over 700 OMPs practice in Ontario, with over 500 being COMPO members. OMPs use hands-on treatments without the use of surgery or medications.

The College of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners of Ontario (COMPO) is the self governing body established by the osteopathic manual practice profession to regulate osteopathic manual practitioners (OMP) in Ontario in the public interest. COMPO is not a regulatory college as defined by Regulated Health Professions Act as the profession is not a regulated health profession yet in Ontario. Membership in COMPO is voluntary. 

COMPO has produced the first manual osteopathic fee guideline; which currently recommends $80 per hour of osteopathic treatment. To become a COMPO member; an osteopathic manual practitioner must have graduated from a manual osteopathic college that offers a World Health Organization (WHO) compliant education as well as passing the written and practical board exams that COMPO administers twice per year, and adhere to the COMPO code of ethics.

Insurers are encouraged to adopt the COMPO fee guideline to assure manual osteopathic treatments remain affordable to the Ontario public even without extended health plan coverage.

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