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17 Jul 2019, Edition - 1464, Wednesday

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Coimbatore

“A separate council for physiotherapists will take care of the quacks in Karnataka”

Indrani Thakurata

Bengaluru: A recent report on how Physiotherapists pitching for a separate council in Karnataka popped up on my facebook news feed. After a little reading on the same, I realised this has been going on for a few years now—reports carrying the same headline year after year without any change in the outcome. In a two day national physiotherapy conference in 2014, Health Minister U.T. Khader batted in favour of establishing a physiotherapy council in the state that would strengthen research and education in physiotherapy. That was back in 2014 and many years have passed by in between–the demand remains the same and nothing has changed since then.

“The draft for a physiotherapy council has been done some time back, we are looking at a separate physiotherapy council on the lines of the nursing and medical council. The profession needs to be regulated because Karnataka hones thousands of physiotherapists every year. A council will help in raising the challenges and through a council we will be able to address quackery,” says Dr Vinod Babu. K.,MPT Principal and Professor, Goutham College of Physiotherapy, Bangalore. Talking about quackery, Jyothi S, a teacher in a near by school in South Bangalore had severe shoulder pain. She sought help from a local physiotherapist and instead of relief, the pain aggravated.

That is when she addressed the issue in a big hospital. “It is hard to trust them, because half of them aren’t qualified physios, they are just attendants who have learnt on the job.”

Calling this a huge problem, Dr Sai Kumar , N., MPT Principal and Professor, Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Orthopedics College of Physiotherapy, Bangalore says, “The discipline needs to be taken seriously and for that we need to research more. A council will help regulate academics and the quality.

Besides that a council will help in registering physiotherapists that would sieve out the genuine ones.” The pressure on Orthopaedic Doctors in most hospitals are huge. Given that many orthopaedic issues can be resolved through physiotherapy, will only ease out the burden on doctors. “All hospitals should have a physiotherapy department because it is required for patients recovery. People mainly associate physiotherapy with Ortho, but physiotherapy is required in all departments—Neurology, Gynaecology, cardio-respiratory etc. So, it is time that we regularise it. Talks are on, we are hopeful,” concludes Dr Sai.

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