New data collected from WCPT’s member organisations indicates that direct access to physical therapy services is permitted in 59% of countries and physical therapists are educated for autonomous practice in 63% of countries. This is based on returns from 93 of WCPT's member organisations.
WCPT’s latest collection of data from its member organisations for the year 2013 has also revealed astonishing variations in the density of physical therapists from country to country.
Whereas Ukraine, Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia and Bangladesh 0.05 or fewer physical therapists per 10,000 people, other countries such as Liechtenstein, Belgium and Norway have 25 per 10,000 or more.
WCPT’s data collection project, launched in 2011, aims to provide a global profile of the profession. The returns are already providing valuable international comparisons which WCPT, its member organisations and others can use to influence policy decisions related to health, health service delivery, human resource planning and health professional education.
New infographics presenting data from the latest returns were launched at the WCPT General Meeting and are now available for download or interactive online access via the links below.
“We are very grateful to the member organisations who are completing data returns,” said Catherine Sykes, WCPT’s Professional Policy Consultant. WCPT received completed returns from 67 member organisations, and many others provided partial information.
“Having authoritative data available allows us to produce evidence about the importance of the profession, which supports more informed decision-making by health policy makers. It also makes current shortfalls in some parts of the world quite obvious, helping our member organisations advocate for new and expanded education programmes.”
The data collection provides information on professional regulation, practice, education and professional interest groups, as well as numbers of physical therapists.