World Physiotherapy South America region

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About the region

The South America region comprises physiotherapy associations from 11 countries/territories.

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.

Executive committee

All executive committee members will serve until May 2023.

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. 

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

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?

1,021 (1000-10000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

10.9 (10-15)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

64% (60-80%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

60% (40-60%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

5.62 (5-10)

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Ministry of Health or another government department (Government)

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

No

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

No

Is direct access permitted?

Private only

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

Bolivia

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

229 (100-1000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

0.88 (<1)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

66% (60-80%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

70% (60-80%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

4.84 (1-5)

Is registration required to practice?

No

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Ministry of Health or another government department (Government)

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

No

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Yes, All programmes (Yes)

Is direct access permitted?

Private only

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

Brazil

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

3,450 (1000-10000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

13.84 (10-15)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

60% (40-60%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

59% (40-60%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

26.26 (>20)

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Ministry of Health or another government department (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, All programmes (Yes)

Is direct access permitted?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

Chile

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

863 (100-1000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

17.92 (15-20)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

44% (40-60%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

55% (40-60%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

20.82 (>20)

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

One or more independent regulation/licensing/registration authorities (Independent)

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

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

Colombia

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

300 (100-1000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

6.33 (5-10)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

87% (>80%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

80% (60-80%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

3.32 (1-5)

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

A partnership between a regulation/licensing/registration body and your organisation (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, Some programmes (Some)

Is direct access permitted?

Private only

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

Costa Rica

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

3,033 (1000-10000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

7.44 (5-10)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

75% (60-80%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

71% (60-80%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

5 (1-5)

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Member organisation

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

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

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Yes, All programmes (Yes)

Is direct access permitted?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

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

Yes

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

Ecuador

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

52 (<100)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

1.76 (1-5)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

37% (20-40%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

64% (60-80%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

4.98 (1-5)

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Ministry of Health or another government department (Government)

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

No

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Yes, All programmes (Yes)

Is direct access permitted?

Yes

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

Yes

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

Mexico

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

510 (100-1000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

1.06 (1-5)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

70% (60-80%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

70% (60-80%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

9.35 (5-10)

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Ministry of Health or another government department (Government)

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

Yes, The World Physiotherapy standard

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

Yes, Some programmes (Some)

Is direct access permitted?

Private only

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

Peru

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

150 (100-1000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

1.84 (1-5)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

80% (60-80%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

81% (>80%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

2.81 (1-5)

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Ministry of Health or another government department (Government)

Is practice guided by specified standards of practice?

No

Are physiotherapists educated for autonomous practice?

No

Is direct access permitted?

No

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

Yes

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

No

Uruguay

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

393 (100-1000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

4.41 (1-5)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

100% (>80%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

65% (60-80%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Bachelors degree

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

4.35 (1-5)

Is registration required to practice?

Yes

Which authority defines scope of practice?

Ministry of Health or another government department (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, All programmes (Yes)

Is direct access permitted?

Private only

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

Yes

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

Venezuela

How many physiotherapist members does our member organisation have?

200 (100-1000)

How many practising physiotherapists per 10,000 population?

0.17 (<1)

What proportion of physiotherapist members are female?

60% (40-60%)

What proportion of practising physiotherapists are female?

60% (40-60%)

What is the minimum qualification required to practice?

Diploma

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

1.39 (1-5)

Is registration required to practice?

No

Which authority defines scope of practice?

A partnership between a regulation/licensing/registration body and your organisation (Partnership)

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

Do support personnel work with physiotherapists?

No

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

No

Are physiotherapists permitted to provide telehealth services?

Yes

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