The Delhi High Court has directed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to ensure that the National Commission and Professional Council for physiotherapists is set up/established at the earliest.
The Court after going through the affidavit/statement of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare finds it a bit incongruous that two or more physiotherapists can form a society/trust which can own/control /manage a clinical establishment but a single physiotherapist cannot own/control/manage a clinical establishment in his/her own name.
While passing direction in the matter, the Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Saurabh Banerjee said, “The Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is directed to examine the said aspect as well as to ensure that the National Commission and Professional Council for the physiotherapists is set up/established at the earliest.”
Let an affidavit be filed by the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare a week before the next date of hearing. List on April 12, 2023, said the court.
The Delhi HC direction came on January 24, 2023, while hearing a plea moved by several physiotherapists who are qualified physiotherapists with many years of experience, seeking direction to the Centre to take steps towards recognition of physiotherapy as a separate and independent profession and set up a separate regulatory body to govern them and to redraft the standards set for physiotherapy in view of the constitutional deficiencies as set out in this petition.
The physiotherapists work in a broad range of public and private practice settings providing client and/or population health interventions as well as management, educational, research and consultation services and the same has been now set out in the Physiotherapy Model Curriculum, March 2016.
The petitioners were represented by Samrat Nigam with Tanya Agarwal and Ajay Singh, Advocates. The National Commission For Allied And Healthcare Professions Act, 2021 to the extent it includes physiotherapy professionals ought to be quashed and set aside as it is violative of Articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India, said the plea.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare in its thirty-first report on ‘The Paramedical and Physiotherapy Central Council Bill 2007’ clearly spelt out that there is a deliberate intention to make physiotherapists subservient to the medical profession, plea read.