Physiotherapy “provides services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan”
(The World Confederation for Physical Therapy, 2011).
Physiotherapists are professionals who are qualified and trained to:
- Conduct an assessment of the needs of their clients
- Formulate a diagnosis and plan appropriate goals and treatment
- Implement physical therapy intervention
- Evaluate the intervention with appropriate outcome measures
- Provide consultation within their expertise and refer to other health care professionals when deemed necessary
- Where movement and function is affected by aging, injury or disease, physiotherapists aim to maximise the quality of lives of individuals through promotion, prevention and rehabilitation. This includes the physical, psychological, emotional and social well being of their clients, their families, caregivers as well as the communities and population at large.
Physiotherapists can be found in:
- Acute hospitals
- Community hospitals
- Day rehabilitation centres
- Day care centres
- Private clinics
- Nursing homes
- Patients’ homes
- Special schools
- Sports council and school
- Sports clubs
Over the years, the physiotherapists’ scope of work has been continually expanding over the years. Today, physiotherapists work with a wide spectrum of clients such as:
- Sporting athletes
- Patients with cardiac conditions such as after a heart bypass, heart attack, and heart failure
- Patients with pulmonary conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema
- Patients with neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury
- Patients who underwent surgical procedures such as a ligament repair, total knee/hip replacements, and amputations
- Patients who have musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis and a prolapsed spinal intervertebral disc (“slipped disc”)
- Paediatric patients with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, and developmental delays
Geriatric patients with problems such as functional decline, falls or poor balance, and cognitive impairment
- Patients with cancer conditions
- Patients with burns
- Patients who require weight management
Entry to a physiotherapy course would require GCE ‘A’ levels or equivalent and potential physiotherapy students can obtain their qualification locally or overseas.
The Nanyang Polytechnic has ceased the Diploma in Physiotherapy since its last intake in 2015. The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is currently running a 4 years honours degree programme in Physiotherapy. More information can be obtained from their website: http://www.singaporetech.edu.sg/undergraduate-programmes/physiotherapy.
Students who are keen to pursue physiotherapy studies overseas can view this list of entry level professional physical therapy education programmes recognised by WCPT member organisations. Note that not all the institutions listed are recognised by the Ministry of Health. Refer to this list of recognised institutions offering the undergraduate physiotherapy programs.
For those who are seeking a mid-career switch to physiotherapy, please visit the Workforce Development Authority.
For scholarship information, visit the Health Professional’s Portal at the website of the Ministry of Health.
With Singapore being one of the fastest aging societies, the demand for healthcare services is expected to increase. According to the latest report released by the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore, physiotherapy is one of the professions that is listed under the strategic and skills in demand list. (MOM, 2010)
Singapore, multiracial and cultural cosmopolitan state, prizes the workforce for its high competency levels, literacy rate and the ability to bridge the East and West cultures. With over 110,000 expatriates working in Singapore, global citizens will also feel right at home forging a career in Singapore. (MOM, 2010)
The Singapore healthcare system is made up of public and private healthcare services, completed by the high standards of living, housing, education, good sanitation and vibrant business. The Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore, has principally primed itself to ensure that good and affordable basic medical services are available to all Singaporeans.
The Allied Health Professions Council is established by the Allied Health Professions Act 2011 to regulate the allied health professions in Singapore. Physiotherapists, together with Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists will need to register under the AHP Act in order to legally practice. Click here for information on application to be a registered Allied Health Professional.