MELAKA: Malaysian Physiotherapy Association has advised the public to be cautious when approached by individuals claiming to be accredited and qualified physiotherapists.
In making the call, its president Yew Su Fen said the association, which represents 980 members in the country, has received numerous complaints from the public of people misrepresenting themselves as qualified physiotherapists and prescribing the wrong exercise techniques that could lead to serious injuries.
"The public should check and verify the credentials of individuals claiming to be qualified physiotherapists to ensure they prescribe the right exercise techniques and rehabilitation programmes for patients.
"Knowing the role played by a physiotherapy is important to ensure patients receive the best treatment which can help improve their recovery time," she told Bernama after presenting a paper entitled 'Exercise as a form of Active Rehabilitation' at the three-day 2nd World Conference on Exercise Medicine (WCEM) which ends here today.
Yew who has been practising physiotherapy for almost 35 years said it was important for the Allied Health Professions Act 2016 (Act 774) to be enforced to regulate the practice of allied health professions, namely physiotherapists, in the country.
She said Act 774 which was passed on Feb 4, 2016, would also help ensure the provision of quality health services to the people.
The retired government physiotherapist said physiotherapy has expanded over the years from not only alleviating pain to becoming an integral part of rehabilitation of patients who have either suffered a stroke, had a knee replacement, heart bypass surgery, besides treating and minimising physical disabilities associated with injuries,disease and other impairments.
She added that there are 326 physiotherapists in government health clinics in the country who can provide physiotherapy for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), namely diabetes, obesity and hypertension through exercise.
Head of the physiotherapy department of Lincoln University College in Petaling Jaya, Dr Ravikumar Katta, also said there should be a monitoring body in Malaysia to ensure the country has qualified and competent physiotherapists who have passed the necessary licensed examination.
Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye, in his opening speech at WCEM yesterday advised those who want to exercise regularly to seek advice or references from experts and physiotherapists as each individual has a different strength or level of capability.
He also said about 73 per cent of deaths among Malaysians are caused by NCDs and exercise plays an important part in reducing the impact of the disease. --BERNAMA