Ugo Aliogo

The Chief Executive Officer, Medical Rehabilitation Therapist Board (MRTB), Akanle Taibat, has called for increased professionalism amongst members of the physiotherapist profession, stating that the practice has been infiltrated by quacks who hide under the pretense of conducting home visitations for people, while parading themselves as physiotherapist.

Taibat who disclosed this recently in Lagos during the induction of the 2016 graduating physiotherapy students and special award ceremony to honour Chief Olu Okeowo for the donation of a departmental complex, urged the graduating students to be professional in their undertaking and practice.

She called on members to ensure that they obtain the professional practicing license before going into the practice, adding that there are some traditional centres that parade themselves as physiotherapy centres, but from investigations conducted, it was revealed that those centres were not certified; therefore they have requested that some of them remove their signboards.

Taibat further noted that they have requested the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to stop registering people in the name of physiotherapy without getting a letter of introduction from the board, stressing that the letter is one of the requirements they have to present before they can register any business name under physiotherapy.

She said: “We have written to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to ensure that before they can allow any student into the camp as physiotherapist they must present evidence of their practicing license. Now we have samples of our licenses in all the states of the federation and the statutory authorities have swung into action ensuring that people present their licenses before they can be allowed into the camp.

“We are improving in our accreditation; we are visiting centres to ensure that they are accredited, because accreditation is a standard control measure to ensure that the standard of the practice is being maintained in all our centres and institutions. In this regard, we have beefed up our efforts to ensure that institutions are accredited.

“We are expecting more to be accredited. We also aim to provide a means of identity for the public whereby they can discern between genuine and fake physiotherapist, such as identity cards, and practicing license, in the event that you are in doubt of what they have said. We will give you a number to call. The accreditation is also at the state level, not only at the nationally level. We accredit private hospitals, General Hospitals, and Federal Medical Centres (FMCs).

“We are also creating advocacy through the media to improve our level of awareness. The response from the public has been very tremendous. It has encouraged a lot of people to bring their complains to the board even some parents that their children were maltreated to bring them to the knowledge of the board and the individuals involved has actually been sanctioned, for some of them we have withdrawn their licenses, while for some we have closed down centres that don’t have qualified physiotherapists, and withdrawn some of their equipment.”

She urged the inductees to uphold the spirit of professionalism, while displaying selflessness and commitment in their service to community, and join the board to fight quackery in the profession.

At the event, Okeowo was presented with the distinguished philanthropist special award, while Suarau Olamilekan emerged as the best graduating student of the 2016 set with a cumulative grade point of 4.58.