(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
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.
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
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.