Physiotherapists in Nigeria are lamenting that the profession is yet to be given its due recognition by government in spite of the major role they play in the overall well-being of citizens.
President of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapists, Dr Taiwo Oyewumi stated this at the 56th annual scientific conference of the association in Kaduna state.
While lamenting the lack of conducive working environment for the practitioners, he said that physiotherapists in Nigeria are ready to pilot projects that would make the country a medical tourist destination.
According to experts, Nigeria presently has only one physiotherapist attending to 30 patients in most hospitals across the country, a situation experts in the study and practice of Physiotherapy say it is a far cry from the World Health Organisation’s recommendation.
The World Health Organisation recommends one physiotherapist to eight patients.
President of the association attributes the situation to lack of adequate recognition of the profession by government.
Chairman of the association in Kaduna state, Stephen Obajuluwa, lamented that the state has only seven physiotherapists to carter for the over eight million citizens of the state.
This figure, he said, is totally unacceptable.
He called on the state government to create more awareness on physiotherapy in the 23 local government areas of the state.
Health workers under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Allied Health professionals (NUAHP) in all government hospitals across the country on Tuesday declared the commencement of an indefinite strike.
National President of the Union, Comrade Obinna Ogbonna, who called for the industrial action after a meeting with health professionals at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC) in Ile-ife, Osun State, said that the strike became imperative following the failure by outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan to honour the agreement reached by both parties.
Since 2014, health workers particularly members of the NUAHP began agitation for several issues ranging from implementation of agreed salary of all health professionals as done for NMA, to the payment of arrears on skipping of CONHESS-10 since year 2010 in compliance with court judgement.
Other requests which include appointment of health professionals as Chief Medical Directors and many others have however met with a brick wall leading to various strikes.
The Union said that in February 2015, outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan met with the leadership of JOHESU and appealed for suspension of the ongoing strike at that time with the promise to resolve the pending issues.
According to the union, all promises are yet to be fulfilled, hence the call for the members to proceed on an indefinite strike.
In spite of appeal, the strike has been called and the members comprising of medical laboratory scientists, physiotherapists, dieticians, radiologists, optometrists and medical social service workers in hospitals across the states will boycott work, crippling major activities in the hospitals.