The current status of Physical Therapy in China
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The current health system in China has evolved by embracing both traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. China is the only country in the world where the number of doctors is larger than the number of nurses but education programmes for other health professions like physical therapy have been slow to develop. In the case of physical therapy it was not until China won the bid for the Olympic Games that permission to establish the first physical therapy programme was granted. Since then China has undergone a period of rapid economic growth enabling many people to have a higher standard of living and improved health, but at the same time the country is faced with massive urbanization, industrialization, increasing environmental health threats, increased health disparities and an aging population. With the support of the Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine, an increased investment by the Government in public health and rehabilitation and engagement of international education experts, entry-level education programmes for physical therapy have started to develop and there are now nine which are modeled, at least to some extent, on the World Confederation for Physical Therapy's international guidelines. The paper explores the development of physical therapy education in China and discusses possible options for the way forward so that as the demand for physical therapy to service 1.4 billion people grows, the profession is prepared and the standards expected of the entry-level physical therapist will not be compromised. 1001-1242(2013)-06-0493-11
Chinese Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
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