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Podiatry profession protection

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by phil s, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    As a podiatry student, i am becoming increasingly concerned with outside interests potentially "eating away" at my future profession's scope of practice. I have one initial question: can anyone other than a podiatrist prescribe a posting on an orthotic for instance?
  2. phil s

    phil s Active Member

  3. Disgruntled pod

    Disgruntled pod Active Member

    Anyone (Tom, Dick, Harry) can prescribe an orthotic.

    Anyone can claim that they carry out Diabetic Foot checks.

    Anyone can claim that they carry out gait analysis.

    Anyone can claim that they can remove corns/callous/VPs.

    But to claim to be a chiropodist/podiatrist you must be HPC registered, and if any of the above assessments/treatments go wrong, you are accountable to them, professional body, the person that you the work on.

    The "any Tom. Dick, or Harry" people are only accountable to their professional body (if they have one that is) and the people that they did the work on.

    Oh and you can get struck off the HPC register one day and the next day do orthotics, DFC etc and as long as you don't call yourself a ch/pod, the law can't touch you.
  4. cornmerchant

    cornmerchant Well-Known Member

    phil s

    You need to be realistic and wake up to the fact that orthotics are not completely the remit of pods- physios, shoe retailers, FHPs, etc all have the right to prescribe or recommend off the shelf orthoses. It is an absolute minefield, as is the professsion as a whole in the uk .
    Do not be deterred by this though, get your degree and know that you have the skills to become a great podiatrist with the underpinning knowledge to provide the best treatment for your patient.

  5. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I seem to remember people whinging about this 30 years ago when I was a student. The world did not end.

    We keep wanting to encroach on other peoples 'turf' by extending our scope of practice, but we complain when we think that others are encroaching on what we think is our 'turf' ... don't figure. People need to get over it.
  6. pgcarter

    pgcarter Well-Known Member

    I've been on both side of that fence, in the ski industry and as a pod. The podiatry profession is rapidly medicalizing everything we do and in Aus at least beginning to hand away orthoses manufacture to prosthetist/orthotists or to factories. I came to pod training having spent 15 years making orthoses for ski boots so the manufacture side of things seemed easy to me and I still do it, it's my choice to earn about $100 an hour making orthoses or less than that(after costs of practice) actually seeing the patients if I prefer that option. If you have the skills to be good at what you do and keep doing it then nobody will eat away at your profession, if on the other hand you stop doing things some one else will take up the slack if there is a buck to be made. If you never have the skills you can't choose to do things.....be the best you can be and keep trying and others will leave plenty of room for you.
    regards Phill Carter
  7. carolethecatlover

    carolethecatlover Active Member

    But it depends on the country. In Australia and France, you can only use a scalpel if you are a qualified podiatrist. Elsewhere....anything goes.
  8. mr2pod

    mr2pod Active Member

    I'm not sure that in Australia only podiatrists use scalpels... My GP uses one. The issue is that podiatry is a regulated profession with a defined scope of practice. As long as your not calling yourself podiatrist than you do not come under that regulation and almost anything goes. It has been and will always be this way.

    To answer the original question... What exactly do you mean by can only a podiatrsist "prescribe" a posting on an orthotic?

    Are you asking can anyone "put" a posting on an orthotic - than probably yes. eg How many of us here have had a patient alter there own devices?;
    Or are you asking can anyone other than a podiatrist "claim through private health" for putting on a post to an orthotic? - I'm not sure of the answer here
  9. pgcarter

    pgcarter Well-Known Member

    Of course any registered medical doctor is allowed to, whether they would want to or not is a different question. There are nurses with DIV1 and 2 quals and people with TAFE CERT 4 tickets using scalpels on patients.....probably not kosher with what used to be called Skin penetration Act and probably not covered by liability insurance. The ANF Aus Nurses Federation will not give a policy position on it. With orthoses there is no covering legislation keeping anyone out of it. If you want to be registered for private health insurance claiming it is a different matter....talk to the fund and the Health Commission.
    regards Phill Carter
  10. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member

    The only part of the practice of podiatry protected in Australia is the name, and that is only Podiatry and Chiropody. Within Australia there are very few protected procedures. From what I remember the new National Registration act only restricts.

    Dental Practice
    Prescription of corrective glasses/lenes
    Cervial spine manipulation

    Other acts restrict the prescription, supply, sale of medicines, and the ability to admit people to hospital etc. There are further restrictions within public health based on local policies and procedures, and again other restrictions that may be imposed by insurers (but that will just cost you money, because if insrance is only mandated for those who are registered).
  11. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member

  12. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member

    Phil S,

    The biggest impact will be the increasing number of podiatrists. In Australia the number of registered podiatrsist has hovered around the 2000 for the last 20 years, but with the course numbers at most of the unis increasing by up to 5 fold (about 30 people were in my 1981 intake year with about 18 graduating, now LaTrobe has 150 places (Melb and Bendigo) with an expected 100 plus graduating). Even with the short average professional life span of a podiatrist, the 2000 will become 4000 over about 10 years.
  13. footinmouth

    footinmouth Member

    That about sums it up. Government did slightly better with Farriers. Tom, Dick and Harry cannot treat my horse.
  14. SarahR

    SarahR Active Member

    Everyone may be able to do it legally, however insurance doesn't cover a lot of non-regulated providers.

    They may be able to do it, but are typically not doing it as well. Do a good job and people will come back to you, AND send their friends/loved ones your way too.

    Our regulatory body in Ontario (and association) gets a lot of complaints about non-regulated provider's work, as the public confuses the regulation of Chiropodists with the regulation of Orthotics/foot care. It is time for our colleges and associations to compile these complaints and make a sound, compelling argument to the government as to the necessity of making this a protected act.

    Audiology (providing hearing aids) is a protected act in Ontario, as are dispensing glasses.

    There are no restrictions against scalpel work, (only cutting below the dermis and administration by injection and prescription of oral/topical meds) however it is becoming better recognized, even amongst insiders, that the nursing foot care profession is a powder keg about to explode due to the number of incidents that have occurred and low amount of liability coverage for this high risk activity, and the incredibly short amount of training/practicum required to open up an independent nursing foot care practice. The nursing profession must reassess their educational requirements and standards around nursing foot care to address this fact.

    We have a number of Doctor run OHIP billing "Free Foot care" clinics that provide all manner of care, including orthotics, corn reduction etc. The doctors have their practical nurse with the weekend foot care course do the work, walk across the gait mat, and the doctors supervise. They then bill for their services, when we have a shortage of primary care doctors in our province!!

    I have heard about ulcerations, amputations, critical infections as a result of shoddy care, however their patients don't complain.

    Patients who have been mislead by compelling advertising (we are not allowed to do this) or incentives (also not allowed by us, 2 for 1 orthotics, half price, free shoes etc) often blame themselves when a problem happens "I should have known better and come to the specialist in the first place" when they should be suing the provider who provided these services, or at minimum lodging a complaint with their regulatory body if they have one. If not, the Better Business Bureau and a negative word of mouth campaign in their circles.

  15. Catfoot

    Catfoot Well-Known Member

    Here is a link from another site with details of a footcare course that takes 2 weeks to complete. It includes scalpel-work.


    and at the end of the course the "graduates" will have full insurance and be able to practice as a "Foot Care Practitioners" - whatever they are ? :confused:


    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  16. footinmouth

    footinmouth Member

    Bit of a coincidence (given the content of my last post on this thread) but I had a look at the site you mentioned, Catfoot, and did I not just find they are treating horses! http://footcaretraining.co.uk/laser-treatments-for-nails-and-tissues/#more-1040

    footinmouth [woefully scratching head]
  17. Catfoot

    Catfoot Well-Known Member

    Hi Footinmouth,
    Now that's interesting, but legal if they aren't actually doing (or claiming to be doing) farriery.

    I wonder how they persuade the horse to wear goggles during the laser treatment ?:confused:


  18. footinmouth

    footinmouth Member

    Ach, are they not just omnipotent, these folks, with magical skills in multiple professions? They probably just whisper to the horse "Here horse, would you put these goggles on".

  19. Catfoot

    Catfoot Well-Known Member

    This is the latest marketing pitch by the training organisation mentioned in my posting 15#. It appears that this e-mail is being sent to all prospective students in the Kings Lynn area :-

    I wonder if anyone in UK knows exactly what the NCFE are, as they are accrediting this course ?


    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  20. love the internet- All looks very impressive - lots of letter after her name must take hours to sign a document at the bank.

    Anyway heres a link for you catfoot re NCFE - http://www.openstudycollege.com/awards/ncfe.html

    When they start offering PHD´s for a 10 day course can someone give me the heads up.... goodluck hope your association is all over this.
  21. Catfoot

    Catfoot Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the links, M Weber,
    Personally I'm going for Animal Communication Level 3. That should help me persuade horses like the ones in posts 17# & 18# to wear their goggles before laser treatment.

    How can anyone take these type of courses seriously?

    I will be making some 'phone calls to my Professional Body's HQ on Monday.

    I wonder if it is legal to call those massage courses "Physiotherapy"? In UK Physiotherapy is a Protected Title just like Chiropody/Podiatry.


    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  22. add the words skills in .... and possibly their not breaking any laws. Its all about the grey areas..
  23. SarahR

    SarahR Active Member

    The newly "trained" (rather tuition money spent and competely brainwashed into thinking they are competent) will be hard pressed to get suitable liability coverage. I hope they all get sued into oblivion, it is shameful how many people will suffer injury and complications at their hands in the mean time.
    I had a patient who complained about the job I did, she had to "get my chiropractor to take more nail out". Did you call the office? No? Why not? Of course he did a bang up job (nice and jagged) but she was already coming in later for a pna.

    Podiatry isn't offered at BSc level here yet, but I can go get a BSc in Podology from the north american school of pedicuring in only a week or two. Let's mislead the public some more.

  24. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    SMF = Sports Massage Therapist? Do they mean Ferapist???

    What the devil is a Vasyli Practitioner?
  25. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    Aren't they the ones that think you can heat mold a prefab orthotic?
  26. My guess went to a course re Vasyli orthotics and bingo Vasyli practitioner. I'm impressed , well no. But the general public will be - all about marketing
  27. cornmerchant

    cornmerchant Well-Known Member


    I believe they have their own insurance company set up so they will al be covered.

    While there is a risk to the patient from the treatment when practitioners are unregulated, there is a bigger risk from the lack of diagnosis, lack of assessment and lack of appropriate treatment- all of which the patient is paying for. This results in the whole profession looking lke idiots, and the patient running off to the doctor to get help! No wonder there is lack of conviction towards the profession.

    A pedicure is just that -why the hell cant they stick to that instead of deliberately misleading the public?

    Its about time these nonsense qualifications were stopped, and that is in all fields not just podiartry.


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