Physical therapy is a form of healthcare which basically deals with remediation of disabilities and impairments. This therapy involves the promotion of quality life, good body function, body movement potential by examination, evaluation, diagnosis and finally intervention by the right specialist.
Professionals who perform these jobs are called physiotherapist and they focus more on injury and treatment. Physiotherapy is a long term treatment method that is done alongside other existing methods of treatment. This is because injuries are part of human life that cannot be escaped since no one has ever learnt the best way to keep off accidents and succeeded.
Role of Physiotherapist
A physiotherapist’s role applies to the health field. He or she is supposed to treat and help people from all works of life that could have ageing, illness or accident related cases. Promotion of good health, treatment, healthcare prevention and rehabilitation are all part and parcel of physiotherapy package.1 In the current world, a need of physiotherapist in schools, industries, private sector and also sport & leisure has arisen.
The advancement of technology in medical field has also provided the need for physiotherapy in the field of health.3 In addition; health insurance bill forms have a section for physiotherapy besides other medical bills. Disabilities that compromise body functions can be caused by diseases or accidents which cause body injury.
As Knox explains, restoring such balance and the normal functioning of the body organs requires frequent checkups by a physiotherapist. (3) Handling patients who need physiotherapy needs specialists who understand the functions and status of the body such as posture, movement, disease progress in the body, healing process from injury and body balance. Different health specialist with a specification for physiotherapy can only handle specific cases. For instance, neuron-specialist is different from a pediatrician.
System and Treatment in Canada and Thai
In both Thai and Canada’s systems, a physiotherapist should be highly educated and have a university degree for him/her to be licensed. Many of these professionals can advance their education for further specialization, but there are common areas that are of importance and need extensive knowledge.
Such areas include biomechanics, human development, physiology and anatomy. In addition, the term physiotherapist can only be used by licensed individuals to ensure regulation and control by the concerned board. Also, it is only the licensed individuals that are allowed to carry out the assessment, evaluation and treatment. Treatment in both Canada involves the use of electrical modalities Such as laser therapy, interferential treatment, ultra sound and electrical muscular stimulation are employed.
Rehabilitation practices have been employed for most terminal sicknesses that are mostly managed such as Rheumatoid arthritis and Multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, rehabilitative treatment like manipulative therapy, osteopathic techniques and acupuncture are also employed. Health care systems in Canada seem to vary a bit from Thai’s in terms of bill settlements.
Insurance billing is one of the major ways of settling hospital bills in Canada. For the case of physiotherapy services, billing is strictly oriented to insurance. In other cases, for instance in private physiotherapy practice, clients are charged directly or a third person in this case, an insurance company can be billed upon discussions. Therefore, payments for physiotherapy service in Canada are mostly covered by insurance companies.
On the other hand, Thai has a more or less the same method with only slight differences. Thai people view physiotherapy in terms of whole body wellness which is articulated in a holistic approach treatment by a physiotherapist. As much as the Thai people employ the current electrochemical methods, they also have traditional approach to physiotherapy. Unlike Canada where physiotherapy is a critical profession, in Thai, it is a way of life and tradition in addition to being a profession.
This is not to say that Thai people are not professionals, but it is to say that there are not much regulation as compared to Canadian system of treatment, evaluation and management. In addition, Thai physiotherapist involves much in injury cases which are part and parcel of life issues. Therefore, they are more aligned to sports people at large unlike in Canada where sports cases are handled by athletic therapists who are not the same as physiotherapists.
Forms of physiotherapeutic treatment in Thai include Traditional Chinese Yoga, hot stone massage, Therapeutic massage, reflexology, specialist treatment of the back, Traditional Thai Massage, Chinese acupuncture and craniosacral therapy.
One striking feature between these two countries is that, physiotherapy services have been employed to cater for the current emerging inevitable issues in health systems. With growth in technology and emergence of new issues such as untreatable diseases, it is only physiotherapy that can provide amicable solution to such issues.
Workers, Billing and Salaries
A physiotherapist in Canada will probably earn more than the one in Thailand. This can be explained from the billing of various therapy cases in Canada and Thailand. Having the billings included in insurance makes Canadians services to be more expensive as it is also in other developed countries.
Also, having professionals of high level of training could also be a contributing factor to the cost of billing in Canada. This is because; the Canadians handle such cases strictly on professional basis.4 This is very different from Thai’s system that involves more of also the traditional systems which are always charged low due to professionalism. This does not disqualify Thai’s practices because research has proved that Thai physiotherapist also provide some of the most fulfilling services in this field.
Physiotherapy and workers’ Salaries
Most developed countries have good packages for physiotherapist. Limited number of these specialists is one contributing factor to the hefty payment at the end of the month. Every country has a system based payment for professional workers. Canada pays its professionals ten times more than the Thai people.4
Some studies have explained that having both skilled and unskilled workers is the reason for the differences in payment. Financial disparity issues in payment do also involve the issue of specialization. In Canada and Thai, specialists for more critical conditions are well salaried since they handle more volatile issues health wise.4
However, the payment charges and salary for private specialists differ a lot and is on the higher side.2 This difference has been attributed to specialization. But, it seems the salary in Thai is relatively low even for the private practitioners if trends are to go by. Therefore, there seems to be a lot notable differences in the practice of physiotherapy in Canada and Thailand.
Thai massage and physiotherapy
The essence of massage is the manipulation of tissue lines for treatment. This method is employed in most parts of countries in the West. On the other hand, Thai’s massage involves the manipulation of lines of energy and pressure core points of the body.3 Thai massage is a form of traditional healing method.
The massage is performed on flat mats placed on the floor rather than raised areas such as tables. On the other hand physiotherapy involves treatment by use of tissue line manipulation and also other traditional healing methods. Therefore, physiotherapy involves the applications of Thai’s massage in treatment.
Physiotherapy in both Canada and Thai are geared towards prolonging the life of individuals both old and young. It is one of the best healing processes a part from conventional medicine. Therefore everyone should take it as a task to visit a physiotherapist once in a while.
Blackwell, S. Illustrations: Medical Gymnastics. Medical History .1997; 41(1): 487-495.
International Comparison: Physiotherapists Salaries. World Salaries Journal. 2008; 21(5): n.p.
Knox, B. Physiotherapy: Center for Research. Toronto: University of Calgary Press; 2007.
Physiotherapy. Canadian Physiotherapy Journal.2011; 4(1): n.p.