Physiotherapists to protest lack of jobs

Students set to demonstration outside Education Ministry at initiative of Histadrut’s physiotherapists union, National Students Association.

June 3, 2013 04:04
1 minute read.
Physicians demonstate outside Knesset [file]

Doctors demo311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Physiotherapists and physiotherapy students will demonstrate outside the Education Ministry’s Jerusalem headquarters on Monday to protest the fact that they have difficulty finding work.

Last year, for example, only 50 out of a total of 500 graduates found jobs, they said.

The professionals called on the Council of Higher Education to freeze programs for teaching physiotherapy so that those who have already graduated or begun their studies can find employment more easily. “We are afraid that thousands of physiotherapists will find themselves without work,” the association of physiotherapists/ physiotherapy students said.

They also complained that in schools of physiotherapy, classroom sizes are very large, and the level of teaching has suffered.

Some 800 physiotherapists and students from around the country will demonstrate at the initiative of the Histadrut labor federation’s physiotherapists union and the National Students Association.

The union noted that a 2007 report that assessed physiotherapist students found even then a shortage of workplaces for professionals.

It recommended six years ago that no new programs be opened and that the number of students in existing programs not be expanded. But the recommendations were not implemented.

Uri Rashtik, head of the Students Association, said the Council for Higher Education functioned without long term planning. “It can’t be that it recommended in 2007 against opening new physiotherapy teaching programs while at the same time opened new programs. We will not allow physiotherapy to reach the situation of law [in which there are many lawyers who don’t find employment],” he said.

There are 4,000 registered physiotherapists (most of them women) in the country, and 400 to 450 more graduate each year. Most of the new ones find themselves unemployed.

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