World Physiotherapy South America region

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About the region

The South America region comprises physiotherapy associations from 11 countries/territories. There are 350,221 physiotherapists in the region and 7,942 are members of their national physiotherapy association.

The member organisations are working on a number of projects related to developing physiotherapy in the region, including projects about the entry level educational programs, advanced practice and continuum education.

Message from the chair

Physiotherapy in this region is well established in some countries and emerging in others. For example, Brazil produces 92% of the research papers of the whole region, and without any doubt we should promote research in the other countries.

As chair of the region, I am deeply committed to encourage and prioritise the development of accreditation standards, continuous education, and create regulations and strategies to give people direct access to physiotherapists. As many countries of the region are included in Mercosur, we must develop regulations to make professional mobility real, according to the signed agreements.

We are working on a strategic plan that will help us shape our priorities for the region.

Coming up

A regional congress is held every two years. The next regional congress will take place in Lima, Perú. This will be a big opportunity for researchers in the region to show and promote their work and for clinicians to get updates about the latest physiotherapy information. Visit the congress website.

For more details about meetings and events in the region, please contact Oscar Ronzio at [email protected]

Contact details

Profile of the profession in this region

A global profile of the profession is also available.

Accessible version of data

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Argentina

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

1000-10000

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

10-15

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

5-10

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Government

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

No

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

No

Is direct access permitted?

No

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

No

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

No

Bolivia

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

1000-10000

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

1-5

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

1-5

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Government

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

No

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Yes

Is direct access permitted?

Yes

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

No

Brazil

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

1000-10000

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

10-15

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

<20%

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

60-80%

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

>20

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Government

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

Yes, the standards of the regulatory/licensing/registration authority

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Yes

Is direct access permitted?

Yes

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

No

Chile

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

1000-10000

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

15-20

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

40-60%

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

10-15

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Government

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

Yes, more than one

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

No

Is direct access permitted?

No

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

No

Colombia

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

100-1000

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

5-10

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

<20%

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

>80%

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

1-5

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

Yes, the WCPT member organisation specific standard

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Yes

Is direct access permitted?

Yes

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

No

Costa Rica

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

1000-10000

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

5-10

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

60-80%

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

60-80%

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

5-10

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Partnership

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

Yes, the standards of the regulatory/licensing/registration authority

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Yes

Is direct access permitted?

Yes

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

Yes

Ecuador

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

<100

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

1-5

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

<20%

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

60-80%

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

1-5

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Government

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

No

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

No

Is direct access permitted?

No

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

No

Mexico

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

100-1000

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

<1

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

20-40%

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

60-80%

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

5-10

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Government

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

No

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Some

Is direct access permitted?

No

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

No

Peru

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

<100

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

1-5

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

<20%

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

60-80%

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

1-5

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Government

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

Yes, the standards of the regulatory/licensing/registration authority

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

No

Is direct access permitted?

No

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

Yes

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

No

Uruguay

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

100-1000

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population

1-5

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

20-40%

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

60-80%

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

How many entry level education programmes per 5,000,000 population

1-5

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Government

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

Yes, the standards of the regulatory/licensing/registration authority

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Yes

Is direct access permitted?

No

Can people self-refer to physiotherapists in private practice?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

Do physiotherapists need to be a member of our member organisation to practice?

No

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