In the wake of World Physiotherapy Day, celebrated every year on September 8, the physiotherapy community in Tamil Nadu is rallying behind a vital cause. They are calling upon the state government to take decisive action and establish more physiotherapy colleges across the region. Presently, Tamil Nadu boasts two government-run physiotherapy colleges, located in Tiruchy and Chennai. In contrast, there are 34 private colleges and three esteemed universities offering physiotherapy programs within the state.

Key Highlights:

  • Physiotherapy’s pivotal role in post-pandemic healthcare
  • Focus on arthritis for World Physiotherapy Day 2023
  • Demand surges for physiotherapy in orthopedics
  • The need for new physiotherapy colleges in Tamil Nadu

The theme for World Physiotherapy Day 2023 revolves around arthritis, with a particular focus on various forms of inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis. This annual event underscores the evolving role of physiotherapy in the medical landscape, which has gained significant prominence, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. S. Mohamed Nazeer, the district convenor of the Indian Association of Physiotherapists, emphasized the critical importance of physiotherapy interventions in various medical areas. These include hemiplegia, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, spondylosis, bone fractures, and addressing discomfort in the legs, knees, and neck. Furthermore, physiotherapists have become indispensable in the orthopedics department, where specialist surgeons often recommend physiotherapy treatments for both in-patients and out-patients post-discharge from hospitals.

Experts in the field are urging the state government to broaden the reach of physiotherapy education by establishing colleges in Coimbatore, Salem, Dharmapuri, Madurai, Tirunelveli, and Kanniyakumari districts. They are also advocating for the creation of additional physiotherapy positions at primary health centers, an increase in the number of posts at district headquarters hospitals and medical colleges, and the regularization of government-appointed physiotherapists who served on a consolidated pay basis during the pandemic at government medical colleges and some primary health centers.

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The demand for qualified physiotherapists in Tamil Nadu is on the rise, and expanding the education infrastructure is the need of the hour. As we celebrate World Physiotherapy Day in 2023, let us recognize the invaluable role physiotherapists play in enhancing the quality of life for countless individuals, and let’s work towards a healthier and more accessible future for all.