This is a three (3) part article. Part 1, the historical perspective can be found here and part two, the future perspective here.
With the federal and state government unable to employ physiotherapy graduates despite the need to, two things have happened. First, there has been an increase in private practice with majority offering itinerant (mobile) physiotherapy though there are a few brick and mortar locations. Second, the profession has been beleaguered by brain drain the most beneficiary countries being UK and USA. The insufficient employment opportunities has also acted as a stimulus for some venturing into other professions, social media campaigns, creation of healthcare hubs, gadget sales, sports events and even politics. Though clinical physiotherapy is still the most prominent cadre of physiotherapy, other sectors are healthcare policy, research, education, supply chain and advocacy.
That said, here is a basic check-list to find physiotherapists in Nigeria:
- Up-to-date licence with registration body, MRTB. Be careful you are not being treated by an over-eager final year student who can’t wait to use you as a guinea-pig.
- Clinical and extra-curricular experience. Agreed, it took 7 years to become fully licensed physiotherapists thanks to strikes internship and NYSC but like most professions, expertise comes with experience. “Young” physios usually work closely with and are mentored by senior colleagues in the profession. A rule of thumb is 3 years of experience for clients with basic rehab needs and for those who suspect they require specialist physiotherapy services, ask and be very specific with your request. Regarding extra-curricular qualifications, the best physiotherapists have perfected the act of entering danfo and keke, planning their itinerary and chasing debtors negotiating with clients while maintaining a professional attitude.
- Inter-personal skills. A typical session would last 45 mins- 1 hour. It is important you feel comfortable with your physiotherapist. A good physiotherapist is sensitive to the client-quiet when solitude is required and knowledgeable enough to engage in politics, business, sports or just pure celebrity gossip when the need arises.
- Location and timing: Family, work and traffic can make scheduling of physiotherapy sessions tricky. Luckily, most physiotherapists offer home service. But dear client, remember professional service rendered in the convenience of your home would cost more.
So, for folks who need to find physiotherapists in Nigeria, chances are high the person who shares this article is most likely a physiotherapist or knows how to find physiotherapists. Happy searching!