Physiotherapy services at 20 DHQ hospitals planned
By Ashfaq Yusufzai
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has approved a project for provision of physiotherapy and rehabilitation services at the district level hospitals to cope with increasing number of disabilities among people in the province,relevant ofHcials said.
Under the two-year project, costing Rs60 million, physiotherapyservices would be provided to those affected by violence, polio and stroke in 20 district headquarters hospitals of the province.
Presently, the physiotherapy departments exist only in tertiary care hospitals in Peshawar and Abbottabad, the officials said.
According to them, disabilities among people had risen in the rural areas due to unavailability of the desired services at the local level, they said.The chief minister has given a goahead for the project that will also help patients after they undergo operations to avoid minor disabilities.
`In most of the cases minor disabilities develop into major disabilities that render victims handicapped. The new services are meant to reduce disabilities by extending free services to the people,` said Dr Mahboobur Rehman, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa coordinatorfor rehabilitation of disabled persons.
Under the programme, 20 physiotherapists in BPS-17 are being recruited to make the physiotherapy departments at the DHQ hospitals operational. In some militancyhit districts, about 50 per cent people suffered from minor and big disabilities, he said, adding that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the first province to approve a plan for provision of physiotherapy services atthe public sector hospitals.
Dr Mahboob said that the province was also prone to natural calamities like earthquakes and floods, and many people injured in such incidents subsequently developed disabilities in the absence of proper services at the state-run hospitals. The health department was in the process of providing hightech equipments for the new departments as well as upgradation of the existing departments at the tertiary care hospitals, he said. He said that increase in the number of disabilities was because the people requiring proper rehabilitation services could not reach the hospitals. He said that early interventions could save disabilities. In recent years, physiotherapy has proved to be useful in lessening and preventing disabilities, he said. The province has produced qualified physiotherapists whose services can be utilised for the benefit of patients.
Dr Mahboob said that it would be a multidisciplinary project in which the social welfare department would also be involved in order to bring beggars with disabilities to hospitals from streets and bazaars. He said that the project would start working next month. Under the project, vocational training would also be provided to the people after giving them required care so that they could begin their own businesses. For this purpose, the role of the social welfare department would be important.
Also, the district governments would be expected to locate beggars with disabilities and transport them to the nearest hospitals to give them physiotherapy services.
He said that doctors would refer people with pain in joints, paralysis, poliomyelitis and special children to the physiotherapists in the respective hospitals. He said that the government would also provide walking aids to patients.