Liechtenstein

Alban Europe

Liechtenstein

Statistics

There are chiropractors practicing in Liechtenstein.

Regulatory Situation

According to Order I and Article 49 of the Health Law, to practice medicine in Liechtenstein, a candidate must be a citizen of Liechtenstein; live in Liechtenstein; be a graduate of a Swiss, German, or Austrian school of medicine; have the necessary capacity, reputation, and hygienic knowledge; respect the duties of a general physician; and obtain a licence to practice. The right to work as an independent allopathic general practitioner and the right to use a specialist title require postgraduate studies followed by an internship.

According to Article 22 of the Health Law, chiropractors are considered medical professionals.

The practice of complementary/alternative medicine by allopathic physicians is not regulated. Allopathic physicians may use complementary/alternative therapies without having to pass a supplementary exam. However, Article 9 of Order I states that “physicians have to practice only in their specialty and according to their knowledge, with the exception of emergencies”. Paramedics are also permitted to provide complementary/alternative medicine.

By Article 24 Paragraph A Lit. I of the Health Law of 18 December 1985, complementary/alternative practitioners may provide health care so long as they refrain from those acts reserved for allopathic physicians. Although there are no court rulings on this point, none of the medical acts included in Article 24 Paragraph A Lit. I are considered to be reserved for allopathic physicians (in particular those related to natural medicine). Therefore complementary/alternative providers only need a business licence to provide treatment legally, even though they are not allowed to provide care in the national health care system. A new medical department is in charge of issuing licences and controlling conditions of practice.

Although complementary/alternative practitioners have yet to be subject to prosecution, Article 184 of the Penal Code specifies that an unqualified person who performs medical acts that are legally reserved for allopathic physicians – such as surgery, treatment of infectious diseases, or prescription of controlled medications – can be punished with a fine or a prison sentence of up to three months.

The State health authorities perceive a contradiction between Article 24 Paragraph A Lit. I of the Health Law and Article 184 of the Penal Code. They are considering two ways of resolving it: either introducing a law to cover practitioners of natural medicine or abolishing Article 24 Lit. I of the Health Law. There is currently a controversial draft Law on Natural Medicine that, if passed, would resolve the contradiction by loosening the restrictions on the right to perform medical acts.

Education and Training

Complementary/alternative practitioners are generally trained in foreign countries.

Insurance Coverage

Complementary/alternative treatments are not covered by compulsory social insurance. To obtain reimbursement for such services, it is necessary to have complementary/alternative medical insurance. Coverage under this insurance is limited to 500-1500 Swiss francs per year.