Only legally qualified and authorized medical professionals are allowed to practise medicine. Under Section 1.2 of the Federal Medical Law, medical acts are defined as “all activities based on medico-scientific knowledge carried out directly or indirectly on human beings” performed for the purposes of diagnosis, treatment, and prophylaxis. Under the Ärztegesetz (Law on Physicians) of 1984 (173, 174), medical acts that are not provided by authorized medical professionals, such as midwives, medical-technical assistants, and nurses, are reserved for allopathic physicians.
Article 184 of the Penal Code states that unskilled persons who practise medical acts or activities reserved for allopathic physicians risk a fine or imprisonment of up to three months. However, the courts have been tolerant with regard to non-medically qualified practitioners. In practice, Article 184 is enforced only when these practitioners use methods that do not have any scientific support.
The Österreichische Ärztekammer (ÖÄK - Austrian Medical Council) issues the Complementary Medicine Homeopathy diploma – ÖÄK Diplom Komplementäre Medizin Homöopathie – to medical doctors who have successfully passed an examination in homeopathy.
Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use, which includes homeopathic medicinal products, was transposed into national law by the consolidation of the ‘Arzneimittelgesetz’ (Medicines Act) on 28 December 2005.