Petition for granting PHYSIOTHERAPY as a System of Modern Medical Therapy in West Bengal
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The present petition is hereby submitted with an objective to express our grievances / objections and protest against inclusion of the Qualified Physiotherapy professionals (BPT & MPT) in the West Bengal Allied-Medical and Para-Medical Council and to solicit necessary intervention to establish independent State Physiotherapy Council for protection of Professional Rights, Dignity, Autonomy & Social Security of Qualified Professional Graduated Physiotherapists of West Bengal.
Physiotherapy is recognized system of modern medical science which is dully defined, documented and acknowledged both inter-nationally & nationally . The World Health Organization (WHO) , International Labour Organization (ILO) , The Delhi Council for the Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy Act, 1997 (Delhi Act No.7 of 1997) , Maharashtra State Council for Occupational & Physiotherapy Act, 2002(Maharashtra .II of 2004) and Gujarat State Council for Physiotherapy Act (Act 18, 2011) in the definition clearly defines the independent nature of Physiotherapy practice. Physiotherapists assess, plan and implement rehabilitative programs that improve or restore human motor functions, maximize movement ability, relieve pain syndromes, and treat or prevent physical challenges associated with injuries, diseases and other impairments. They apply a broad range of physical therapies and techniques such as movement, ultrasound, heating, laser and other techniques. They may develop and implement programmes for screening and prevention of common physical ailments and disorders [as defined by World Health Organization (WHO) with ISCO Code 2264. ]
Being aggrieved & deprived, We the Qualified Physiotherapy professionals (BPT & MPT) working in the state West Bengal hereby want to express our grievances, objections and protest against unjust inclusion of the Physiotherapists (BPT & MPT) into the West Bengal Allied-Medical and Para-Medical Council. The prescribed provisions defining the ‘Physiotherapist’s scope of professional practice’ under the purview of ‘The West Bengal Allied-Medical and Para-Medical Council Act 2015’ is demeaning and derogatory which is undeniably contradictory to the best available reliable certified documented evidence (both nationally & internationally resources ) pertaining to the professional practice autonomy, dignity & rights of the Physiotherapists. We strongly condemn this kind of unjustified inclusion & defamation of the physiotherapy professionals (BPT & MPT) under the umbrella of ‘West Bengal Allied Medical & Para-Medical Council’ without considering unique importance & distinct identity of our professional rights which has been well secured in others states like Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat & Chhattisgarh via respective Independent State Govt. Physiotherapy councils .
It is submitted for your perusal that last 15 years, the qualified physiotherapists of our state and various state physiotherapy associations like Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP - W.B. Branch) have repeatedly appealed to the authority of the Department of Health & Family Welfare ( Government of West Bengal ) to pay attention to our sincere grievances regarding establishment of West Bengal State Physiotherapy council. But the authority of the Department of Health & Family Welfare ( Government of West Bengal ) had overlooked our genuine demand and has expressed rigidity to set up autonomous independent ‘THE WEST BENGAL STATE COUNCIL FOR PHYSIOTHERAPY’. The authority of theDepartment of Health & Family Welfare ( Government of West Bengal ) is surreptitiously attempting to encompass the Graduated (BPT) & Post-Graduated (MPT) physiotherapy professionals under the umbrella of the West Bengal Allied-Medical & Paramedical Medical Council which has been enacted with strict confidentiality without reviewing/considering the valuable suggestions/proposals/comments & objections already submitted by the stakeholders (including qualified Physiotherapists) of West Bengal. It is nothing but a pre-planned systematic conspiracy to degrade the professional autonomy & dignity of physiotherapists and to transform us into ‘POPPET technicians or ‘Obedient Slave’ in the disguise of ‘MEDICALLY-DIRECTED ASSISTANT’ who would be easily directed & denounced by a specific section/group of the so-called orthodox medical physicians/surgeons who actually does not have any pre-existing academic/professional physiotherapeutic knowledge/skills and clinical decision making power & ethical empowerment with legal right & eligibility to plan or direct effective physiotherapy treatment intervention and to instruct the same to the physiotherapists (as an obedient & sincere assistant ) to carry out the prescribed therapeutic intervention.
We strongly denounce this kind of unjustified inclusion & merging of the BPT & MPT qualified physiotherapy professionals into West Bengal Allied Medical & Para-Medical Council without considering importance of our professional autonomy which has been well secured in others states like Delhi, Maharashtra & Gujarat via respective Independent State Physiotherapy councils. In this context, it is further to inform you that in Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra & Chhattisgarh , there are independent state regulatory physiotherapy councils governed by the Dept of Health & Family Welfare under respective State Government Authority. It is further to add your generosity that the State Government of other states like HARAYANA , RAJASTHAN , PUNJAB, ANDHRA PRADESH , KERALA, TAMILNADU & ODISHA are also in active process of formation of the State Physiotherapy Council at their respective state jurisdiction.
The professional rights, ethical practice autonomy, social security & employment opportunities of the Allopathic, Homoeopathic, Ayurvedic , Unani , Acupuncture, Dental physician /practitioners , Nursing & Pharmacist professionals have been well secured & protected by the respective councils dully regulated under the Department of Health & Family Welfare (Govt. of West Bengal ) and illegal/malpractice is almost absent in these healthcare profession. But the professional rights, ethical practice autonomy, social security & employment opportunities of the qualified physiotherapists (BPT & MPT) of West Bengal have not been secured due to lack of independent regulatory state council. Our long pending demand for ‘establishment of West Bengal State Physiotherapy Council has been over-looked and denied by the authority of the DoHFW (GoWB) . Therefore, physiotherapy profession has not able to flourish optimally within the state of West Bengal due to lack support & cooperation from the State Health Authority. As an obvious consequence of these hostile circumstances, there is lack of job opening /opportunities for Physiotherapists in various government / private run-hospitals of West Bengal. The qualified physiotherapists have been exploited and deprived to lead ‘Dignified Life (Right to Dignity)’ and constantly facing difficulties to maintain adequate livelihood for their dependent family members (Right to Life )’ within the jurisdiction of West Bengal. The social image of actually qualified professional physiotherapists is constantly degraded and more frequently criticized through social & public media within the state of West Bengal. In West Bengal, for the past few years Physiotherapists were defamed & criticized by a specific section of Allopathic Doctors / PMR specialist among Public in a Very Cheap/derogatory manner as ‘Physiotherapists are technicians (Non Medical Technical Person ) & they can only play a role of an assistant treating a patient being referred with the prescription of a MBBS or PMR and they cannot treat patients individually/independently through physiotherapeutic assessment & therapy protocol, they cannot run the clinic of their own without supervision of the Medical Practitioner . Thereby the professional rights of Physiotherapists have been curtailed / refuted or denounced to create deliberate hindrance to the natural development of the profession within the state of West Bengal. So ‘ the Rigth to live Dignified Life’ of the physiotherapists of West Bengal has been compromised and progressively degraded. The most of the talented qualified physiotherapists have been compelled to leave their home-state and to accept respectable physiotherapy job security and they have peacefully settled down in other states like Gujarat, Maharashtra & Delhi to secure their professional dignity. Those who have unable to leave our state due to familial responsibilities or financial crisis, have to work with substandard pay scale compromising their professional dignity. They are directed to work as slave or poppet just to serve. We strongly condemn this kind of unauthenticated and false defamation of physiotherapy profession among public within the state. Physiotherapy is Drug-less Scientific-exercise & Electrotherapy-modality based therapy which is recognized internationally by W.H.O. It must be noted that the West State Medical Council / Registered Allopathic Practitioners or PMR specialist / Orthopaedicans or the Indian Medical Association (IMA -W.B.) has no legal authority or eligibility to regulate or degrade our professional rights and dignity .
We, on behalf of the qualified physiotherapists of West Bengal appeal to your esteemed office to save this medical profession from downfall due to unlawful inclusion/clubbing of physiotherapists under the umbrella of West Bengal Allied Medical & Para-Medical Council without considering unique importance of our professional duties, rights and dignity which have been well secured in others states like Delhi, Maharashtra & Gujarat via respective Independent State Physiotherapy councils. The implications of the ‘West Bengal Allied Medical & Para-Medical Council Act 2015’ will bring deleterious long-standing effects to our profession not just now, but also in years to come . The professional advancement of this noble profession will be retarded and the quality of physiotherapy service will be declined and the professional dignity of the qualified physiotherapists will be compromized and degraded. The meritorious students of our state will not opt/want to be ‘Physiotherapist’ in very near future. There will be less number of the students addmission in recognized Physiotherapy colleges of West Bengal . The overall standards of Physiotherapy education, academic research and professional practice will be declined in the state of West Bengal which will definitly compromize and violate the ‘PUBLIC INTEREST’ of the West Bengal due to unavailability of standarized physiotherapeutic-services.
In view of the facts & circumstances stated above, it is submitted before the authority of the the Department of Health & Family Welfare (Government of West Bengal) to reconsider and initiate appropriate action to exclude the ‘PHYSIOTHERAPIST’ profession from the ‘West Bengal Allied Medical & Para-Medical Council’ and to set up independent State Physiotherapy Council (THE WEST BENGAL STATE COUNCIL FOR PHYSIOTHERAPY) at par at par existing other state Govt. approved (reference) state physiotherapy councils like DELHI, MAHARASHTRA, GUJARAT & CHHATTISGARH .
Dr. RATNADIP SARKAR (Physiotherapist), Dr. TARUN DAS (Physiotherapist)
& others concerned qualified Physiotherapists of West Bengal.
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