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Singapore-Cambodia physiotherapy programme comes to completion

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A collaboration between Singapore and Cambodia to upgrade the Kingdom’s physiotherapy practitioners’ educational qualifications to a bachelor’s degree has concluded. Photo supplied

Singapore-Cambodia physiotherapy programme comes to completion

A collaboration between Singapore and Cambodia to upgrade the Kingdom’s physiotherapy practitioners’ educational qualifications to a bachelor’s degree has concluded, Singapore International Foundation (SIF) said in a Friday press release.

The Physiotherapy Bachelor Upgrade Programme was approved by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in May 2016, and was launched in January 2017.

It was initiated by the SIF in partnership with the University of Health Sciences Technical School for Medical Care (UHS-TSMC) and the Singapore Health Service (SingHealth).

A number of physiotherapy practitioners, the statement read, have been trained through the bridging programme, which comprised eight modules.

The modules were Musculoskeletal, Cardiopulmonary, Neurology and Geriatric, Paediatrics and Women’s Health, Community-Based Rehabilitation, Wheelchair Prescription, Research Thesis and Evidence-Based Practice and Health Promotion.

It added that over 1,320 hours of classroom – both theory and practical – and clinical learning attached to more than 15 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics across Cambodia, has equipped the students with advanced clinical reasoning skills and knowledge.

The medical students were taught by a group of Singapore International volunteers (SIVs) and 12 Cambodian master trainers, who were also equipped by the SIVs with enhanced knowledge and skills to conduct these modules on their own, according to the release.

Professor Celia Tan, Group Director for Allied Health at SingHealth, said her organisation felt privileged to have worked on the project alongside the UHS-TSMC.

“Building a professional development ecosystem for Cambodian allied health professionals has been a long-time dream for both the Singaporean and Cambodian trainers who have worked on this project,” she said.

UHS-TSMC rector Saphonn Vonthanak said: “With the additional knowledge the SIVs have contributed to our existing curriculum by covering key elements of physiotherapy practice not covered in a diploma programme, we have now built an educational pathway for developing our dedicated physical therapy practitioners within the country.”

He added that the programme “was an incentive for the practitioners to stay in the health sector, to keep learning and contribute knowledge to next generations”.

SIF executive director Jean Tan said the bridging programme was one of several Singaporean-Cambodian collaborations over the years to help raise healthcare services standards in the Kingdom.

“We are pleased to mark another milestone in the 17-year friendship between the SIF and Cambodia in uplifting lives and fostering ties between our peoples,” she said.

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