BHUBANESWAR:Even as physiotherapy centres and clinics have sprung up in the cities and towns, lack of proper regulatory mechanism has seen major proliferation of quacks in the field, much to the detriment of needy public.
The demand for establishing a Council for Physiotherapy, as is the case with medical education and paramedical sciences, has grown louder as over half of the physiotherapy clinics in the State are allegedly being run by unqualified persons.
Physiotherapy is now being considered as a vital organ of medical science dealing with physical rehabilitation after injuries, diseases and other impairments as well as pain relief. It is a major mode of treatment and relief for diseases like osteoarthritis and back pain which are rising alarmingly in the population.
However, in the absence of a proper regulatory body, physiotherapy is being muddied by untrained practitioners leading to a steep increase in mishandling-related complications. As per estimates, there are over 200 physiotherapy clinics in the State with 75 alone in Bhubaneswar. Almost half of them, particularly in the semi-urban pockets are not being run by qualified physiotherapists, sources said.
While other States like Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have established Councils for Physiotherapy to streamline education and regulate practice, Odisha is yet to realise its importance. Currently, there are around seven colleges offering Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) and three Master of Physiotherapy (MPT) courses in the State. But there is no check on quality of education imparted by a significant chunk of institutes, barring the likes of Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (SVNIRTAR), as there is no regulatory body in place, members of Indian Association of Physiotherapist, Odisha Branch, rued.
With growing awareness and initiation of different programmes like National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS), physiotherapy is set to be taken to the grassroots level. It is, therefore, not only most essential from the view of ensuring quality standards of education and checking entry of unqualified practitioners but also furthering the stream of allied medical science.
“We have requested the Government to constitute a Council for Physiotherapy on the lines of State Medical Council and Nursing Council for monitoring the education standards and regulating the practice through measures like registration of qualified physiotherapist,” convenor Dr Amlan Maity said.