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Are There Sufficient Number of Exercise Therapists in South Africa In Order To Equitably Manage the Noncommunicable Disease Epidemic?

Ellapen, Terry J; Paul, Yvonne; Barnard, Marco; Swanepoel, Mariette; Hammill, Henriette V; Strydom, Gert L.
Int Q Community Health Educ; 39(2): 127-132, 2019 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | 2019 | ID: mdl-30482096
Resumo: The mortality of South African noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is rising. One of its primary contributors is physical inactivity. Therefore, South African National Health Plan included exercise therapy as part of their strategy to inhibit the NCDs upsurge. This study aimed to determine whether the number of South African exercise therapists is sufficient to equitably manage this NCD epidemic. The 2013 and 2017 Health Professions Council of South Africa reports identified the number of physiotherapists, biokineticists, and their respective students-in-training. In 2012, 10,623,820 people were identified with NCDs; however, South African Department of Health only treated 6,058,186 patients (57.0%) ( p < .05). South African Health Review has estimated a 28.7% increase in the number of NCDs patients treated from 2012 (6,058,186) to 2025 (7,799,770) ( p < .05). The average yearly growth of practicing physiotherapists (3.4%) and the physiotherapy student-in-training (2.2%) is inequitable to manage this NCD epidemic. In 2012, the extrapolated physiotherapist-to-NCD patient ratio was 1:5667. The South African Department of Health should consider including biokineticists to aid in the management of the NCD epidemic.