ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 47

The backbone of Sri Lanka’s physiotherapy is no more

Dr. Frank Perera

By Theera Fernando

Dr. J.E.F. Perera, popularly known as Dr. Frank Perera, was the physician-in-charge of the Department of Physical Medicine (General) of the General Hospital, Colombo from 1955 to 1977. The department was well maintained for the benefit of the patients and was considered as one of the best sections in the hospital.

He treated the rich and the poor alike and was always interested in maintaining standards to improve the quality of life of the patients.

He gave due respect to elderly patients. He would fondly address them as “Loku Unnahe”. His entire staff would then in turn follow his good sentiments in the same way.

He was the founder member of the School of Physiotherapy inaugurated in 1957. He was also the first Physician-in-Charge of the School of Physiotherapy.

He recognized the need to have a systematic training in physiotherapy to meet the country’s demands and undertook the task of organizing a physiotherapy course, which was the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

He was concerned about the welfare of his staff and established good relations with all. He even went before the Salary Anomalies Commission and successfully secured better remuneration for them.

Today, the physiotherapists who had the good fortune to have been his students and those who had the pleasure of working alongside him are engaged in successful careers in the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia.

He held the post of President of the Asian Pacific League of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The first international assembly of this organization, held under his leadership in Colombo in 1970, was a great success.

Dr. Frank Perera is no more, but his good work and great ways will live on. The building of the school of Physiotherapy at 119, E.W. Perera Mawatha, Colombo 10, which he was totally responsible in getting the Department of Health to construct, stands as the monument that reminds us and future generations of his untiring efforts and his immense contribution to physiotherapy in Sri Lanka.

The School of Physiotherapy celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year and Dr. Frank Perera will be sadly missed by all those who knew him.

On behalf of retired physiotherapists........!

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.