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Physiotherapy Education in India

Physiotherapy education varies in different states of India. Universities which run the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in India do not have any universal regulatory body to get affiliated. Some medical colleges/universities run these course under the physiotherapy or allied health department, while others are affiliated with university/ colleges accredited by UGC or state council. There are various state councils which have their own requirements to run the course in their respective states.

However, there is no regulatory body that governs the uniform quality of these courses across India. Indian association of physiotherapy (IAP) offers affiliation to some these courses but its membership is not essential to practice physiotherapy in India. This non-uniformity has lead to a compromise in the quality of education across India and in turn, affects the medical health care provided to the patients.

A study was initiated by scholar students of faculty of Physiotherapy under the guidance of Dr. Mohit Gulati to compare the educational system required to practice as a legal physiotherapist in developed and developing countries with Indian physiotherapy educational system at SGT University Gurugram, Haryana. These countries were India, USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. Physiotherapy educational system was compared in these countries in the following domains- minimum eligibility course to practice, course accreditation agency and its goals, minimum eligibility criteria for entry in the course and license examination after completing the course in their respective countries. Data for the above domains was collected from the official Physiotherapy councils/ associations websites of their respective countries.

Upon analysis it has been observed that all the countries except India had at least one uniform accreditation agency. Developed countries like UK, Canada and US has more than one accreditation agencies which work in collaboration with each other. Only USA and Canada has license exam where in Canada there is also a practical examination along with theory exam.

Other countries like UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore only require candidate to register with their council to practice physiotherapy.

In comparison to these countries, Indian physiotherapy system lacks council and a uniform accreditation agency for undergraduate or postgraduate courses. There is no licenser examination in India upon completion of the course or to practice clinically.

Another aspect of this profession is treatment; it is very difficult to judge for commoners, which clinician to visit due to this disparity in profession. Dr Kirit P Solanki, Member of Parliament (MP) in India, introduced central council of Physiotherapy bill as private member bill in August 2018. Such an ingenious step may build a platform for Physiotherapy to reach a required height, the profession deserves.

TABLE REPRESENTING THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENT TO PRACTICE PHYSIOTHERAPY IN THESE COUNTRIES

S.No. Country Course and Duration Educational Accreditation Course Entry Requirements License
1. India B.P.T (4 and ½ years) Indian Association of Physiotherapy / University grant Comission Higher secondary qualified with 50% in subjects including Physics, chemistry, Biology No exam required to Practice, valid BPT degree required.
2. USA DPT (3-4.5 years) Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
  • GPA 3.0- 4.0 Graduate record examination (GRE)
  • 3 LOR
  • Pre-requisite courses
National Physical therapy examination (NPTE)
3. UK M.SC yea Physiotherapy (4 Years) Charted Society of Physiotherapy
  • Good academic record
  • Occupational health screening
  • Disclosure and barring services
  • English proficiency test
Registration with Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
4.      Canada M.P.T (2 years) Canadian Council of Physiotherapy
  • B.P.T  (3-4 years)
  • Good GPA
  • GRE
  • English language test
  • Prerequisite courses
Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) Theory + Practical
5. Australia B.P.T (4years)/ B.Sc (3years) + MPT(2 Years) / DPT (3 Years) Australian Physiotherapy Council
  • Good academic background
  • Requisite subjects
  • English Test
  • Police check
  • Working with children check
Registration with Physiotherapist Board of Australia
6. Singapore B.Sc Physiotherapy (3 Years 8 months) Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC)
  • Good pass in two of the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.
  • General Knowledge
  • Language requirements
Register with the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC)
7. New Zealand Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPhty) Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCA Act) requirements Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand

Dr Mohit Gulati(PT)
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Physiotherapy

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