Quebec osteopathy association shaken by allegations

A Quebec professional association of osteopaths is in damage control in the wake of an undercover investigation by the Quebec College of Physicians that resulted in 33 charges and over $370,000 in fines against a Montreal osteopathic school and several osteopaths for allegedly practicing medicine illegally.

Osteopathy Quebec said it doesn't understand why this investigation and these allegations are coming forward now. 

"We are shocked and surprised by the steps taken by the Collège des médecins(College of physicians)," said president Marc Gauthier in an interview with CJAD 800 News.

"Osteopathy exists in Quebec for the past 35 years. The Collège des médecins, the chiropractors, the physiotherapists are aware of that so why didn't react before that?" said Gauthier.

Gauthier said he's concerned that the allegations are damaging for their reputations and for an industry that has been working for more than two years for official recognition and regulation. He said this wouldn't have happened if the industry was regulated. Gauthier said his members provide over two million treatments and consultations a year and so far without incident. 

"For sure,  it doesn't give a good image to osteopathy.  People looking around, like other provinces, are looking what's happening in Quebec. So I think it's a good thing we are well trained and regulate our members," sadi Gauthier.

Gauthier said to ensure the public is protected, they are making sure all members are responding to training criteria and are respecting their code of ethics.

Gauthier said they're also calling on the government to help speed up the process to create a professional order of osteopaths.