Uruguay: a profile of the profession

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The data has been provided by Physiotherapists' Association of Uruguay and to the extent possible are a true reflection of the situation in the country, however not all figures are authoritative and should be interpreted accordingly. For questions or feedback please contact countryprofile@wcpt.org

Reference year: 2018

 View the 2018 global country profile maps

Professional name
English name:
Licenced in physical therapy  (Protected by law)
National language names:
  • Licenciado en fisioterapia  (Protected by law)
  • Physiotherapist  (Protected by law)
Membership
Number of physical therapist members:
335    (Excluding assistants, students, retired and other)
Female%
71%
 
Entry level student organisation:
Yes, represented by an independent organisation
Practising physical therapists
Number of practising physical therapists:
1,395    (Authoritative*)
Female%:
76%
 
Support personnel part of workforce:
No
Note: *this data has come from a registration authority, a government source or statistical agency.
Publications
Journals:
None
Events
CPD Events:
*1  BLOG DE ACTUALIZACIÓN SEMANAL
*2  FACEBOOK DE LA AFU - ACTUALIZACIÓN DIARIA
Special interest groups recognised by Uruguay
Recognised special interest groups:
  • Aquatics
  • Acupuncture
  • Animal practice
  • Cardiorespiratory physical therapy
  • Educators in physical therapy
  • Electrophysical agents
  • Health promotion (includes non-communicable/chronic disease management, physical activity)
  • Information management and technology
  • Management/administration (includes leadership, medico-legal, professional standards and best practice)
  • Neurology
  • Orthopaedics/manual therapy
  • Occupational health and ergonomics
  • Older people
  • Oncology/palliative care
  • Pain (includes pain management, pain research)
  • Paediatrics
  • Sports physical therapy
  • Womens health
Collaborative arrangements (twinning)
No
Physical therapist professional entry level education
Number of programmes:
3
Starting education level (minimum):
Upper secondary
Finishing education level (minimum):
Bachelors degree
Equivalent fulltime years:
4
 
Other entry level programmes
No
Note: qualification levels are consistent with ISCED 1997 levels
Post professional degree programmes
Post professional degree programmes:
None
Physical therapist specialisation recognised by Uruguay
Recognised specialisation:
None
Practice
Scope of practice defined by:
Ministry of Health or another government department
Standards of practice:
Yes, the standards of the regulatory/licensing/registration authority
Code of conduct:
Yes, WCPT member organisation specific code of conduct
 
Education for autonomous practice:
Some
Limitations:
Yes - Los médicos Fisiatras, o Drs. en Medicina Física y Rehabilitación, se oponen a que los LICENCIADOS EN FISIOTERAPIA, seamos profesionales de PRIMER CONTACTO y que podamos realizar el "DIAGNÓSTICO FISIOTERAPÉUTICO" y han logrado que nuestro PROYECTO DE LEY DE REGLAMENTACIÓN DE LA PROFESIÓN, se mantenga "en estudio" en la COMISIÓN DE SALUD DEL PARLAMENTO URUGUAYO al menos por un año más. The physiatrists or physician Drs. In Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, oppose the LICENSED IN PHYSIOTHERAPY, we are professionals FIRST CONTACT and we can do the "physiotherapeutic diagnostic" and have achieved our BILL OF REGULATION OF THE PROFESSION, it remains "under study" in PARLIAMENT COMMITTEE ON HEALTH URUGUAYO at least for another year.
 
Legislation to prevent private practice:
No
 
Physical Therapists are permitted to:
  • Act as first contact/autonomous practitioners
  • Assess patients/clients
  • Make a diagnosis
  • Treat (interventions, advice and evaluation of outcome)
  • Refer to other specialists/services
  • Offer preventative advice/services
 
Direct access* permitted:
Yes
Can people self refer to physical therapists in private practice:
Yes
Will this be reimbursed:
In part
 
Can people self refer to physical therapists in the public system:
Yes
Limitations:
Yes - Los Médicos Fisiatras, que son 93 en el país, exigen a sus pares médicos (a través del corporativismo médico) que los usuarios deban pasar antes por su consultorio para ser derivados por ellos al tratamiento por fisioterapia realizado por los Licenciados en Fisioterapia de las instituciones médicas privadas y hospitales públicos donde existen médicos Fisiatras. No en todo el país hay FISIATRAS para atender a los usuarios por ser ellos 93 y los fisioterapeutas somos 1750 en todo el país. Insuficientes para toda la población, nosotros también. Physiatrists require their medical peers (through medical corporatism) to refer patients/clients through the office of a physiatrist for physiotherapy treatment by a licensed physiotherapist in private medical institutions or public hospitals where physiatrists exist. Nationwide there are not enough physiatrists to meet the needs of service users, as there are only 93 physiatrists compared to 1750 physiotherapists. This is insufficient for the entire population, as well as for physiotherapists.
* Direct access - a person can refer themselves to a physical therapist without referral from another health professional
Regulation
Registration required to practice:
Yes
CPD* required for re-registration:
No
CPD* required for membership:
No
 
The system of regulation in the country:
Organismo regulador: Ministerio de Salud Pública. Ley 16.614. Título habilitante para el ejercicio de la profesión de tecnólogos médicos www.parlamento.gub.uy
* CPD - Continuing Professional Development

Other available reference years: 2013  2015