Appeal for recruitment in government hospitals

Subsequent to the warning issued by the Tamil Nadu Medical Council against physiotherapists affixing ‘Dr’ before their names, students of the Government College of Physiotherapy, Tiruchi, held a sit-in strike on Monday, demanding withdrawal of the council’s statements.

According to a release issued by physiotherapy students, the statement made by Dr. Prakasam, the president of the Tamil Nadu Medical Council, has hurt the sentiments of physiotherapists in the State.

Dr. Prakasam had charged physiotherapists of misleading the public by posing as doctors. He also held that physiotherapists cannot be called doctors as they are technicians, students alleged. Demanding the president withdraw his statement, students asserted they cannot be labelled as technicians as they pursue graduate studies for four-and-a-half years, followed by 2 years of post-graduation, while some obtain a Ph.D. While the WHO holds physiotherapy as an independent practice, Dr. Prakasam’s insistence that physiotherapists should impart treatment only under the supervision of orthopaedics is unacceptable, students avowed.

Separate council

A separate council for physiotherapists, similar to those existing in other states, should be established by the Government, students appealed. Presently, there are 170 physiotherapists employed in Government health centres in Tamil Nadu.

The State government should take efforts to make physiotherapy services accessible to people in rural areas by deputing one postgraduate physiotherapist and two graduates in all government hospitals and primary health care centres, students demanded.