There are 55 chiropractors practising in Ireland (45). There are numerous associations of professional complementary/alternative practitioners.
As in the United Kingdom, the Medical Council (172) is the statutory body that regulates the medical profession. In order to practise medicine as an allopathic physician, a provider must possess a certificate of qualification from a medical school and be registered with the Medical Council. Although allopathic physicians do not have a legal monopoly on medical practice, registered allopathic practitioners have some exclusive rights. Only those who are registered as doctors are permitted to treat venereal diseases, practise obstetrics, certify death, issue medical certificates for official purposes, prescribe a wide range of controlled drugs, give advice in court on specific issues, supply services to police for alcohol-linked traffic offences, and administer anaesthetics. All medical positions in State services, the army, civil service, or private industry are restricted to registered allopathic medical practitioners.
Persons without an allopathic medical degree are tolerated by law to practice complementary/alternative medicine; however, only medical practitioners with a university degree in allopathic medicine are recognized. Under Section 61 of Part V, Fitness to Practise, of the Medical Practitioners Act of 1978 (172), it is an offence for non-registered practitioners to provide medical treatment under the pretence of being a registered practitioner. People who make false declarations for the purpose of obtaining registration are punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.
There is no chiropractic law, although the practice of chiropractic is permitted under common law. Chiropractors may obtain a licence to operate X-ray equipment (65).
Education and training
There is no postgraduate training for allopathic physicians in complementary/alternative medicine.
When a registered allopathic doctor provides complementary/alternative treatment, it is not distinguished from other medical care and is covered by the General Medical Services (172).