Physiotherapists feel the pinch, as hospitals turn their backs on them

Updated: Jul 05, 2020, 07:22 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

Doctors are now looking at newer business models to stay afloat, including free consultancy sessions to clients

Dr Mugdha Todankar and Dr Manasi Pawar
Dr Mugdha Todankar and Dr Manasi Pawar

Even as hospitals grapple with shortage of doctors and para medical staff, one section of the medical community is finding no room for their skill. Since the lockdown was announced in March, many private hospitals in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik have put physiotherapy services on hold, and despite restrictions being lifted, the cloud of uncertainty continues to loom over physiotherapists, with many fearing pay cuts and job loss.

Dr (PT) Manasi Pawar, 34, a physiotherapist attached to a Pune hospital, shares, "Following the outbreak, we were sent a message, asking not to report to hospital till the lockdown is relaxed. Now, when the lockdown has been lifted, the hospital has sent another message, asking us to take a break till things normalise." Pawar, who has been in the industry for over 11 years and has been associated with the hospital for almost eight years, has been forced to dip into her savings, to get by.

Mumbai-based Dr (PT) Mugdha Todankar, a 25-year-old physiotherapist in Dadar, says, "With almost negligible number of patients, the demand for physiotherapy services is witnessing a sharp decline."

To ensure that she doesn't lose out on her clients, Todankar who has been in the industry for four years now, has started giving free online consultations to existing clients. Many, like Pune-based physiotherapist Dr (PT) Sayali Athanikar, have decided to explore self-employment opportunities, instead of waiting for services to resume. Athanikar and Pawar have plans to open a clinic together. "With patients finding home services cheaper, we feel there is a potential to generate higher revenue. We have started looking for finance to set up our own centre," said Pawar.

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