The ISPRM President’s Cabinet and the Chair of the ISPRM-WHO Liaison Committee have actively participated in Rehabilitation 2030: A Call for Action, a global gathering of many of the world’s leading rehabilitation experts that took place on the February 6-7, 2017, at the WHO Headquarters in Genève, with a call for a coordinated and concerted global action towards strengthening rehabilitation in health systems.
The objectives of the meeting were to draw attention to the increasing needs for rehabilitation, to highlight the role of rehabilitation in achieving the WHO’s Sustainable Development Goals, and to call for coordinated and concerted global action towards strengthening rehabilitation in health systems. The call for action commits participants to work towards improving rehabilitation in countries by creating strong leadership and political support for rehabilitation; strengthening rehabilitation planning and implementation; improving integration of rehabilitation into the health sector to effectively and efficiently meet population needs; incorporating rehabilitation in Universal Health Coverage; building comprehensive rehabilitation service delivery models to progressively achieve equitable access to quality services, including assistive products, for all the population; developing a strong multidisciplinary rehabilitation workforce suitable for country context, and promoting rehabilitation concepts across all health workforce education; expanding financing for rehabilitation through appropriate mechanisms.
There is a substantial and increasing unmet need for rehabilitation worldwide, and in particular in low- and middle-income countries. The ageing population and improved access to emergency, trauma and medical care correspond with a growing demand for rehabilitation services. Access to appropriately trained rehabilitation providers is needed to realize the full benefits of the considerable growth in the development and availability of assistive products. In many parts of the world, however, the capacity to provide rehabilitation is limited or non-existent and fails to adequately address the needs of the population.
ISPRM is already committed to the WHO global disability action plan 2014–2021 and the ISPRM-WHO Liaison Committee is working hard towards the objective of strengthening and extending rehabilitation.
Together with other rehabilitation professional organisations, ISPRM presented a common statement proposing key actions in a coordinated effort to raise awareness among policy makers of the need for rehabilitation including the following:
- generating and/or curating knowledge for evidence-informed policy development,
- unity of approach, language and position, and
“I’m glad that ISPRM is well represented at this meeting with almost all the members of the President’s Cabinet and other valuable experts of our Society such as Profs. Linamara Battistella, Gerold Stucki, and Christopher Gutenbrunner among many others” said ISPRM President Jorge Laíns. “It is very important that WHO commits to consider Rehabilitation as a Health Strategy. We will put these actions as a priority inside ISPRM.”
ISPRM President-Elect Walter Frontera says “It is fantastic to be here as this is a great opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues that represent different countries, different entities and disciplines within Rehabilitation. I think that this call for action and the final statement will be a very important document for the field of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. I hope that ISPRM will be supportive of this call for action and of the WHO’s plans for the future.”