A few days ago I wrote a piece on the fact that the new degree program for Physiotherapy, has not resulted in their graduates gaining employment through the Hospitals within the purview of the Ministry of Health. I made a case for them to be included forthwith as it is a critical requirement of any health care sector in any country. It appears in retrospect that the graduates and undergraduates are seeking a pay scale called SL1 or SL2 which they deem appropriate to them, but which if granted, means they will be on a higher pay scale than MBBS doctors.
They must be more realistic, where their starting monthly is about Rs8,000 less than those of Doctors! I am sure they will dispute it, but they must realize they are a profession, and they have a degree. Most degree holders who are not specifically trained for a profession are lucky to get Rs10,000 a month! They must be realistic in knowing why the Govt might be delaying their request. They cannot fit them into a box!!!
To put a spanner in the works, these graduates imply that once their 60 graduate annually from the two Universities of Colombo, and Peradeniya, it is time to close the School of Physiotherapy, which churns out 150+ two year HND diploma holders in Physiotherapy. Even if a prior commitment to do so has been made, it must be remembered that annual requirement of physios in the state health care sector is at least 250, and the shortfall must be met from diploma holders, even though their lack of knowledge is a handicap, but reflected in a lower salary.
The removal of the School, where entry standards are low, will prevent many children from disadvantaged areas from entering a vocation with a genuine need in rural areas. After all the high Z score on a par with doctors that those entering the faculties need, is generally out of reach in areas where there is not even a science stream in their school. Why remove the state school when the private schools are popping up giving HND courses where their products always gain secure employment!
A commenter to my previous blog on the issue said it was like removing an apothecary title once doctors began to pass out. I would say it is essential to have both general practitioners and specialists on the roll, and that these are merely specialists, and need for GP is far greater where the University system currently does not supply the demand only from Graduates. An even more appropriate category would be of doctors and nurses, both are required, there are over 10 times as many nurses as doctors and so it should be.
The need is for more people who can perform physiotherapy on patients. The cost of increasing the intake in the Degree course needs to be considered. I am sure the undergraduates would not like that course to be flooded with 100 instead of 30 in the class. Their exclusivity will get compromised. Just be realistic in your demands. Don't compare yourselves to anyone. Just look at how valuable you are not against someone else and value your worth accordingly. You have science, you have knowledge, you have the best A level grades, and you have a 4 year vocation specific special degree 'free of charge' don't complain, join the exclusive club and savor your place in society. Learn to be appreciative fight for what is just.