Denmark | Cam-Regulation


Summary of the country's general legislation of CAM.

Go directly to legislation of specific CAM therapies in Denmark:
Acupuncture – Anthroposophic medicine – Ayurveda – Chiropractic – Herbal medicine/Phytotherapy –
Homeopathy – Massage – Naprapathy – Naturopathy – Neural therapy – Osteopathy – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – Other treatments

Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1973 (11) and a founding
member of the Council of Europe since 1949 (12).

The legal and regulatory status of CAM and CAM practices

Sundhedsloven (81) and “Lov om autorisation af sundhedspersoner og om sundhedsfaglig
virksomhed” (82, 83) regulate health professionals’ practice in Denmark. Medical doctors are allowed to use the treatment options they find useful. Non-medically qualified practitioners are allowed to provide care with certain restrictions. Treating infectious diseases is considered as a medical act, and except for special regulations for acupuncturists only doctors may give injections (28, 82).

Health professions in Denmark are authorized according to Act no. 877 of 4 August 2011 on Authorization of Health Care Professionals and on Professional Health Care Practice section 12 (82). Authorization is given only based on education and practice as described in this regulation. CAM practitioners are not authorized except for chiropractors and physiotherapists who are regulated health personnel and not regarded as CAM professionals (84). In Denmark authorization or not is mainly what separates health professionals from CAM professionals (83).

Denmark has adjusted to professionals’ regulation in (EU) European Union (5) with two main acts:

  1. Assessment of Foreign Qualifications etc., 2007 (85).
  2. Act on the Right to Exercise Certain Professions in Denmark, 2010 (86).

The law on a self-regulatory registration system for alternative practitioners from 2004 established a voluntary register for non-medically qualified CAM practitioners (87). The register includes practitioners who “fulfill well-defined criteria for education and are members of an organization for practitioners that take on the necessary tasks for registration and maintaining the register”(28).

In Denmark a CAM practitioner with a membership in one of the officially recognized CAM organizations may voluntarily register in the register for CAM professionals and add “Registered Alternative Practitioner” (RAB) to his/her CAM title (50). “Sundhedstyrelsen” gives branch associations for CAM practitioners the right to issue RAB certificates to their members if the branch and the members fulfill certain requirements of education and court of appeal (83).

The governmental supervision of CAM Practices

Supervision of health professionals in Denmark is included in law on authorization of health personnel, Chapter 7, § 26 (82). Authorized health personnel are supervised after § 215 in Sundhedsloven (81). Chiropractors and physiotherapists are regulated health personnel in Denmark and as such included in the supervision regulative system of health professionals. There is no government supervision on non-medically trained CAM practitioners.

The reimbursement status of CAM practices and medicinal products

CAM practitioners are entitled to a lower VAT rate if they have specific training and the
treatment follows certain characteristics (84, 88). There is no reimbursement for CAM treatment or CAM medicinal products except for services given by medically qualified practitioners. Acupuncture is partially reimbursed (60, 88).

Chiropractic consultations are partially reimbursed according to Sundhedsloven chapter
4.2.5. Chiropractors. “The public health care scheme partly pays for treatment provided by chiropractors. It is not necessary to be referred by a general practitioner in order to receive a subsidy. There are approx. 300 chiropractors who have an agreement with the public health care scheme”(81, 88).


5. DIRECTIVE 2005/36/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 22) Amended up to March 2011, (2005).

11. EUROPA. Gateway to the European Union; member countries. Brussels EUROPA
Communication department of the European Commission; 2011 [cited 2011 November 3]; Available from:

12. Council of Europe. Council of Europe. Strasbourg: Council of Europe; 2011 [cited 2011
November 7]; Available from:

28. ECH (European Committee for Homeopathy). ECH in European Countries. Brussels: ECH; 2011 [cited 2011 September 12]; Available from:

50. ECCH. The Legal Situation for the Practice of Homeopathy in Europe; An ECCH report; Oct 2010; Revised Edition 2011,. Brussels: European Central Council of Homeopaths 2010.

60. ECHAMP. Homeopathic and Anthroposophic Medicine: Facts and Figures. Second Edition ed: ECHAMP E.E.I.G: European Coalition on Homeopathic and Anthroposophic Medicinal Products E.E.I.G; 2007.

81. Sundhedsloven 913 af 13/07 2010 (Earlier: The practice of Medicine Act (lov om utøvelse av lægegjerning) of 1970), Folketinget(2010).

82. Lov om autorisation af sundhedspersoner og om sundhedsfaglig virksomhed nr 877 af 04/08/2011, Folketinget(2011).

83. Johannessen H. Email: Comments to country description Denmark. Copenhagen 2011.

84. Videns- og Forskningscenter for Alternativ Behandling (ViFAB). Alternativ behandling regler og rettigheter autorisert eller eksaminert behandler. Copenhagen 2011 [cited 2011 28 September]; Available from:

85. Assessment of Foreign Qualifications Act, cf. Consolidation Act No. 74 of 24 January 2003, with the amendments following from Act No. 315 of 30 March 2007, (2007).

86. Act on the Right to Exercise Certain Professions in Denmark, cf. Consolidated Act No. 189 of 12 February 2010, Folketinget(2010).

87. Lov om en brancheadministreret registreringsordning for alternative behandlere LOV nr 351 af 19/05/2004 (RAB-loven), Folketinget(2004 ).

88. Ministeriet Sundhed forebyggelse. Chapter 4 The primary health care service. 2012 [cited 2012 March 29]; Available from:

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