• Practising physiotherapists, total number (Line chart)
Data set notes
European database on human and technical resources for health

Indicators: 250
Updated: 23 September 2016
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HlthRes-DB provides a wide range of statistics on human and technical resources for health and offers data on non-monetary health care resources collected through the joint work of the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and WHO/Europe. It contains nearly 200 indicators on human and technical resources for health.

Human resources indicators: Indicators include the number and density of a wide range of health personnel (such as physicians, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists and health care assistants), according to three different concepts (those practising, professionally active and licensed to practice). Information on employment in hospitals and numbers of medical and other graduates is also available.

Technical resources data: Data include the number and density of hospitals and hospital beds, stratified by ownership of facility (public, non-profit-making private and for-profit private), in addition to the number of beds for long-term care.

HlthRes-DB also contains indicators on the availability of the following medical equipment: computed tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units, positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, gamma cameras, digital subtraction angiography units, mammographs, radiation therapy equipment and lithotriptors.

Coverage: HlthRes-DB contains data from the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region. To be updated yearly, usually in late summer, it is currently available in English and Russian.

More information: http://www.euro.who.int/en/data-and-evidence/databases/european-database-on-human-and-technical-resources-for-health-hlthres-db
Indicator notes
Practising physiotherapists, total number
Indicator code: pract.physio

Physiotherapists assess, plan and implement rehabilitative programs that improve or restore human motor functions, maximize movement ability, relieve pain syndromes, and treat or prevent physical challenges associated with injuries, diseases and other impairments. They apply a broad range of physical therapies and techniques such as movement, ultrasound, heating, laser and other techniques.
Inclusion
- Geriatric physical therapist
- Paediatric physical therapist
- Orthopaedic physical therapist
- Physiotherapist
Exclusion
- Podiatrist
- Occupational therapist
- Acupressure therapist
- Hydrotherapist
- Massage therapist
- Physiotherapy technician
- Shiatsu therapist
- Chiropractor
- Osteopath
Note: The number should be at the end of the calendar year.
Country notes
Albania
Data not available.
Armenia
Source of data: Republican Research and Information Health Centre and the National Statistic Service of the Republic of Armenia, Report form of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia ? 17 “Health employment”, http://healthinfo.am/Statistical%20Report.htm, Statistical book, Armenia, English version (zip) 2009.
Reference period: 31 December.
Coverage: Includes physiotherapists with higher medical education.
Deviation from the definition: Data includes geriatric physical therapist, paediatric physical therapist and orthopaedic physical therapist. Data on physical therapist nurses are excluded.
Note: In 2012 the number of practicing physiotherapists increased due to private sector.
Austria
Source of data: Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, Hospital Statistics.
Reference period: 31 December.
Coverage: Data are only for physiotherapists employed in inpatient hospitals (HP 1).
Deviation from the definition: Self-employed physiotherapists and physiotherapists employed in other institutions than hospitals are not included.
Azerbaijan
Source of data: Department of Informatics and Statistics, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Reference period: data as of December 31.
Note: data includes only physicians-physiotherapists.
Belarus
Note: In Belarus physiotherapists are doctors with therapeutic specialties, which are not presented here. In Belarus, physiotherapists are graduates of medical and pediatric departments of universities.
Belgium
Source of data: CTI - INAMI.
Reference period: 31st December.
Break in time series:
- Data from 2000: Number of physiotherapists with a minimal volume of patient contacts.
- Data up to 1999: Number of physiotherapists who carried out at least one reimbursed medical act during the year.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Source: Public Health Institute of FB&H - Annual report health personnel with university degree by specialization and sex in FB&H Public Health Institute of Republica Srpska - Annual report health personnel with university degree by specialization and sex in Republica Srpska
Bulgaria
Source of data: National Statistical Institute, Exhaustive annual survey
Reference period: 31st December
Coverage: All physiotherapists (head counts) who worked on a basic labour contract in outpatient and inpatient establishments, as well as those who practice in other heath establishments - centres for emergency medical care, centres for transfusion haematology, homes for medical and social care for children, Hygiene-epidemiological inspections and others. Data for the whole period are revised according to the ISCO-08. Code 2264 is used.
Break in time series: 2000. Up to 1999 data refers to all physiotherapists (head count) working in municipal health establishments. Since 2000 data include all physiotherapists (head count) working on a basic labour contract in inpatient and outpatient health establishments as well as other health establishments.
Croatia
Source of data: Croatian National Institute of Public Health, Health Manpower Register
Reference period: data on December 31
Coverage: public and private health sectors included, private physiotherapists have been included since 1993.
Cyprus
Source of data: Statistical Service of Cyprus, Public Sector administrative sources.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: Numbers of physiotherapists refer to personnel employed in the public sector only.
Czechia
Source of data: Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic; National Health Information System (Annual report on health personnel).
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage:
- Until 1999, workers working in other central organs not included. Since the year 2000 data covers workers in total health services.
- Since 2004, data collected on basis of new legislation on non-medical professions (until 2003: rehabilitation workers - only those without university education, including ergotherapists; since 2004: physiotherapists).
- Double counting of workers working in more than one health establishment.
- Data relate to workers working in health establishments. Those working in social establishments are not included. Break in series: 2000 and 2004.
Denmark
Source of data: Statens Serum Institut, Labour Register for Health Personnel.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: The definition used is 'professionally active': Pharmacists whose status in the Central Personnel Register is active, i.e. in the country (not dead or abroad), and either a) employed, b) employed, being on leave or c) employed, receiving sickness benefit.
Note: In 2004, many physiotherapists were moved to the industry ‘Physiotherapist and occupational therapist’ from a lot of small industries that were not selected as likely to provide services directly to patients. The industry ‘Physiotherapist and ergotherapist’ is selected, and this movement explains the large jump in the number of practising physiotherapist in 2004. There, the numbers before 2004 are underestimated.
Estonia
Source of data: Annual reports, National Institute for Health Development, Department of Health Statistics.
Reference period:
- 1980-2012: 31st of December.
- Since 2013: November.
Coverage:
- For 2005-2008 the head count distribution is made according to their main branch occupational activity.
- For 2005-2007, only instructors of physical therapy were included. Since 2008 physiotherapists also were included.
- Until 1996, medical education was only given to rehabilitative care nurses in Estonia. Instructors for curative physical activity with higher education existed (until 1992 also with upper secondary education), but they had no medical education. Since 1996, specialised physiotherapists have been educated. Since 1990, 2nd year sports students could specialise in activity therapy. However, the functions of a physiotherapist were also partly provided by rehabilitative care nurses. For that reason it is difficult to provide data on physiotherapists. Since 2008 the relevant specialities (therapists for curative physical activity, activity therapists, physiotherapists) are included in the annual report, which enables the capture of the real numbers of practising physiotherapists. The data up to 2007 are underestimated.
Break in time series: 2008 and 2013.
- The data collection methodology was changed in 2013. Aggregated data collection was replaced with data collection on a personal basis. From 2013, the predominant (main) area of practice is based on an occupation with the highest workload.
Finland
Source of data: Administrative figures (National Register of Health Care Professionals).
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: The data include all qualified physiotherapists who have passed the general education (until 1994 in Finnish laakintavoimistelija, since 1994 in Finnish fysioterapeutti). This change affected only the Finnish name of the occupation, not the education itself.
Deviation from the definition: Data refer to physiotherapists licensed to practice under retirement age (58-63 years).
France
Source of data: Ministere de la Sante et des Sports, Direction de la Recherche, des Etudes, de l'Evaluation et des Statistiques (DREES), Sous-Direction de l'Observation de la Sante et de l'Assurance maladie, Bureau des Professions de sante. Repertoire ADELI.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: Data refer to metropolitan France and D.O.M. (overseas departments).
Deviation from the definition: Data refer to active physiotherapists.
Georgia
Source of data: Data are based on annual statistical reports collected from health establishments to the Ministry of Health and include both, public and private sectors.
Reference period: 31 December.
Coverage: The provided data cover all regions except separatist regions, Abkhazia and South Osetia. Data for those two regions are unavailable.
Note: The number provided includes only physiotherapists-physicians, physiotherapists-nurses are excluded. 30% decrease in 2012 is due to an essential change of the data collection tool related to the health human resources.
Germany
Source of data: Federal Statistical Office, Health Care Personnel 2015; special calculation by the Federal Statistical Office; http://www.destatis.de or http://www.gbe-bund.de.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage:
- Data contain the number of physiotherapists that are actively practising physiotherapy in public and private institutions and provide services directly to patients (head-count data).
- Physiotherapists in terms of the Health personnel accounts of the Federal Statistical Office: Physiotherapists develop treatment plans customised for their patients on the basis of medical prescription and carry out the corresponding physiotherapeutical measures (for example exercise therapy with and without equipment, breath control, electric therapy, heat therapy, massages).
- From 2000 onwards data from Health Care Personnel have been completely revised. Therefore comparable data before 2000 is not available.
Greece
Source of data: Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.).
Reference period: 31st of December.
Hungary
Source of data: Hungarian Central Statistical Office; Report on personnel of health and social services (up to 1999), Report on personnel of health service (from 2000).
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: Social services excluded since 2000.
Deviation from definition: For years 1994-2007 data refer to full time equivalents. From 2008, data are head count.
Breaks in time series: 2000, 2008.
Iceland
Source of data: The Directorate of Health and The Icelandic Association of Physiotherapists.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage:
- Physiotherapists: Three years of university education leading to a B.S. degree.
- Figures refer to physiotherapists who are members of the Icelandic Association of Physiotherapists.
Estimation method: Figures for 1999 and 2000 are preliminary. Figures for the years 2002-2003 are not available.
Ireland
Source of data: Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP).
Reference period: As of 30th June.
Break in time series: Since 2008, only practising physiotherapists have been included. Non-practising, overseas and retired physiotherapists are not included. Prior to 2008, the data refer to the number of members of the ISCP.
Israel
Data not available.
Italy
Source of data: ISTAT, Labour Force Survey. http://www.istat.it/it/archivio/8263.
Reference period: Annual average.
Coverage: Sample survey.
- Deviation from the definition: Data refer to professionally active physiotherapists.
Estimation method: Estimation from the sample survey. Data are affected by the statistical error due to the sample design.
Kazakhstan
Source: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Reference period: 31December.
Latvia
Source of data:
- Since 2005: Health Inspectorate of Latvia; Medical Persons' Register.
- 2004 and earlier: Health Statistics and Medical Technologies State Agency; Statistical Report No.17 "Report About Medical Staff".
Reference period: 31 December. Break in series: 2005.
Lithuania
Source of data: Health Information Centre of Institute of Hygiene, data of entire annual survey of health establishments.
Reference period: 31st December
Coverage: There is no such category in Lithuania. Data on Physiotherapists includes:
- doctors of physical medicine and rehabilitation with university education. This number is also included in the total number of physicians.
- specialists with university (but not medical) education working in health care (kyneziotherapists, ergotherapists)
- specialists with college or medical school education: physiotherapist nurses (this number is also included in the total number of nurses), assistants of ergotherapist, assistants of kyneziotherapist, masseurs.
Luxembourg
Source of data: Direction de la sante, service des statistiques.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: Professionally active physiotherapists.
Malta
Source of data: Council for Professions complementary to Medicine Registers.
Reference period: 31st December
Montenegro
Data not available.
Netherlands
Source of data: Data for professionally active and licensed physiotherapists based on BIG Register (register of (para)medical professions) and SSB database (micro-integrated database of Statistics Netherlands with data from the municipal register, tax register, social security, and business register).
Reference period: The last Friday before Christmas.
Deviation from definition: Data refer to professionally active physiotherapists.
Coverage:
- Data refer to physiotherapists who: are licensed to practice; live and work in the Netherlands; and are active in a health- or social care sector or a health-care related sector.
- List of NACE codes used for health- or social care and healthcare related sectors: NACE v1: 851, 853, 2441, 2442, 331, 5146, 5231, 5232, 5248.2 (opticians), 6022 (part of transport for healthcare), 6602.3, 6602.4 (pension funds part for healthcare occupations), 6603 (part of health insurance funds and companies), 7310.3 (medical and pharmacological research and development), 745 (temporary work companies; very important for nurses, caring personnel and physiotherapists), 7522 (Ministry of Defense, including military hospital), 7523.2 (part of medical personnel for prisons, including prison hospital), 753 (compulsory health care insurance, operations for exceptional medical expenses act), 8022, 8030, 9304, 9305.
- Nace v2: 86, 87, 88, 212, 266, 325, 4646, 4773, 4774, 4778.2, 4932, 6530.3, 6530.9, 6512, 7211.2 + 7219.3 (R&D for health, medical products or pharmaceutical processes), 782, (8412 will be included when NACE v2 is available in SSB; Regulation of the activities of providing health care, education, cultural services and other social services, excluding social security), 8422, 8423.2, 843, 8532, 854, 9313, 9609.
Norway
Source of data: Statistics Norway; Statistics on health-care personnel.
- From 2002 onwards: Statistics Norway; Register-based statistics on employment of health-care personnel.
- Up to 2001: National Board of Health.
Reference period: 3rd week of November.
Coverage:
- Data up to 2001 show FTE; data from 2002 show head count.
- Include all educated physiotherapists in all industries.
Break in time series:
- 2002: comparable time-series cannot be delivered for the years preceding 2002.
Poland
Source of data: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of National Defence and Central Statistical Office.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage:
Inclusion:
- Since 2001 physiotherapists with master's degree and the degree of the secondary vocational education.
- Since 2005 data from the Ministry of Interior and from the Ministry of National Defence.
- Since 2005 data on physiotherapists working at facilities of stationary social welfare.
Exclusion:
- Since 2005, teaching staff.
Break in time series:
- 2001, 2005, for description see coverage.
Portugal
Source of data: Statistics Portugal - Hospital Survey / Official Clinic Survey.
Reference period: 31st December. Coverage/Deviation from definition: Only data on physiotherapists practising in hospitals and official clinics (some practising in both health establishments and/or in private ambulatory health establishments) are available. Physiotherapists working only in private ambulatory health establishments, including private cabinets, are not included.
Republic of Moldova
Source of data: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova, National Centre for Health Management, Annual statistical report N17 “On staff and cadres of health institutions”. http://cnms.md/areas/statistics/anyar/.
Reference period: Data as of December 31.
Coverage: Data exclude Transnistria.
Deviation from the definition: Foreign physiotherapists are not included.
Romania
Source of data: National Institute of Statistics, Activity of Sanitary Units – annual survey performed by NIS.
Reference period: data as of 31st December.
Coverage: The data cover public and private sector.
Russian Federation
Source of data: Annual reporting form ?17 «Information about the medical and pharmaceutical personnel", Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.
Reference period: 31 December.
Coverage: Includes only data for medical institutions of the Ministry of Health. Data from institutions of other ministries and private sector are not included.
Note: data comprise physicians with specialization in physiotherapy.
San Marino
Source of data: Human Resources Office at the Social Security Institute.
Coverage: Data include only public sector’ health professionals.
Serbia
Source of data: Institute of Public Health of Serbia, National register on health care human resources. Data as of December 31. http://www.batut.org.rs/.
Coverage: Data for Kosovo-Metohija province are not included in the coverage of data for the Republic of Serbia. Data from health institutions under other ministries (military services, prisons, social services) than the Ministry of Health are not included. Data from private health sector are not included.
Deviation from the definition: Data refer to professionally active physiotherapists.
Slovakia
Source of data: National Health Information Center. Data are selected from: “Annual report on structure and number of health professionals in 2009 – 2010”.
Reference period: 31st December.
Slovenia
Source of data: National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia; National Health Care Providers Database.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: The number of physiotherapists includes physiotherapists with 2 years of higher education in physiotherapy (out of 14 years of education) and with 3-years of non-university higher education (out of 15 years of education) in physiotherapy (started in school year 1993/94).
Spain
Source of data: National Statistics Institute, from the Register of Physiotherapists Council. http://www.ine.es/jaxi/menu.do?type=pcaxis&path=/t15/p416&file=inebase&L=0.
Reference period: Data as of December 31.
Coverage:
- Since 2006 physiotherapy is a university degree, not a specialty of nursing. Before, physiotherapy was a specialty of nursing (not compulsory to be registered as physiotherapist, only as nurse); 1721 physiotherapists were reported in 2000.
- Data based on Economically Active Population Survey - practising or professionally active physiotherapists – and referring to CNO-11 codes at 4-digit level (Spanish equivalence of ISCO-08) are not available.
Deviation from the definition: Data refer to all physiotherapists "licensed to practice" registered in the Council of Physiotherapists. They may include some physiotherapists who are not economically active (unemployed, retired).
Sweden
Source of data:
- Before 2002: Federation of Swedish County Councils.
- From 2002: National Board of Health and Welfare. National Planning Support (NPS) register. Validity of the source: Valid from 2002.
Reference period: 1st November.
Coverage: Before 2002:
- Only physiotherapists employed by the County Councils are included. Privately employed physiotherapists are missing. Sources that are occasionally used for years preceding 2002 exclude the private sector and non-unionized personnel and include personnel employed outside of health care. From 2002:
- Physiotherapists are defined as licensed physiotherapists registered in NACE-codes that are considered to be within the health-care sector. 2002 was the first year that the profession became a licensed profession.
- 100 per cent coverage.
Switzerland
Data not available.

TFYR Macedonia
Source of data: Institute for Public Health –Skopje. Report for health staff in health sector (3-00-60).
Reference period: 31st December.
Turkey
Source of data:
- From 2005 onwards: General Directorate for Health Services, Ministry of Health.
Coverage:
- From 2005 onwards: Practising physiotherapists in the MoH, universities, and the private sector are included.
- The increase in physiotherapist in 2007 and 2008 is due to the employment regime of the public health sector in order to respond to the country’s needs.
Turkmenistan
Source of data: Report from of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan. ? 17 “Health employment”
Reference period: 31 December.
Coverage: Includes data from institutions under the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan, data from other Ministries or sectors not included.
Break in time series:
- 2005: Note: a 30% decrease in numbers of physiotherapists in 2005 is a consequence of the state programme Health on re-organization of the health institutions with the purpose of rational use of human resources for health in the country.
Ukraine
Source of data: Centre of Health Statistics, Ministry of Health. Report form ? 17 “Health employment” and Reporting form 20 "Report of health care institutions” of the Ministry of Health, other agencies and private entities.
Reference period: 31 December.
Deviation from the definition: data on foreign physiotherapists not included. Nurses working in physiotherapy departments are included (they are not included in the total number of nurses).
Break in time series: 2009, before 2009 data included only health professionals working in the institutions reporting to the Ministry of Health, starting from 2009 data coverage is complete.
United Kingdom
Source of data:
- England: Health & Social Care Information Centre: http://www.hscic.gov.uk, Non-Medical Workforce Census;
- Northern Ireland: Human Resource Management System / Human Resource, Payroll, Travel & Subsistence system, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety;
- Scotland: Scottish Workforce Information Standard System, Information Services Division, National Services Scotland;
- Wales: Welsh Government: http://gov.wales/statistics-and-research/?topic=Health+and+social+care&lang=en.
Reference period: 30th September.
Coverage:
- Does not include private sector.
- Wales: Includes hospital based staff only.
- England, Northern Ireland and Scotland: Includes both hospital and community based physiotherapists.
- Northern Ireland: Excludes staff on career breaks and bank staff.
Estimation method:
- Scotland: Due to a change in methodology and the introduction of Agenda for Change in 2007, all historic figures have been reviewed and amended.
- Wales: 2013 Welsh data was not available in time for this collection and so the previous year’s figure was used instead. This will be updated with the correct data in next year’s collection.
Uzbekistan
Source of data: Institute of Health and Medical Statistics, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan, reporting form 15-SSV “Report on Health personnel by categories”.
Reference period: 31 December.
Coverage: data include personnel working within the system of the Ministry of Health only.