Australian and Singapore physiotherapy associations enter landmark agreement

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and Singapore Physiotherapy Association (SPA) have formalised their commitment to strengthen collaboration between the two bodies and their respective physiotherapy workforces in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the APA’s annual general meeting over the weekend. ‘Both organisations have proud histories, strong membership bases and face similar challenges in providing a broad range of services to increasingly mobile stakeholders. This landmark agreement will help both associations to develop and deliver relevant, products and services within our jurisdictions,’ said APA President Melissa Locke. The three-year MOU centers around a shared belief that physical health and wellbeing of nationals is enhanced by access to quality physiotherapy, and a broader goal to improve population health by supporting members in the provision of world-class, evidence-based clinical practice though professional development and career success. ‘A strong physiotherapy association is the key to a strong physiotherapy profession. The MOU between APA and SPA recognises that together we can do better to achieve our missions. Members, and ultimately the general public, will benefit from economies and industry clout made possible through collaboration,’ continued Ms Locke. ‘Specifically, our agreement will see: enhanced information sharing on policy and advocacy matters; APA’s product endorsement program and selected publications expanded into the Singapore market; discussion of a Specialisation framework for Singapore’s health system; and preferential major event rates offered to members of each organisation. ‘There is a long history of partnership between the physiotherapy workforce in Australia and Singapore, which started with the training of Singaporean physiotherapists in Australia as part of the Colombo Plan and continues to this day with significant movement of individuals between each country for both education and work,’ concluded Ms Locke. A quorum of members witnessed the MOU signing by Ms Locke and visiting Vice-President of SPA, Ms Goh Ming Rong, during the APA’s annual general meeting on Sunday 22 April. Attendees were also treated to a presentation on the Australian Government’s National Lead Clinicians Group by Adjunct Professor Mr Russell Stitz. APA and SPA are both members of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), the sole international voice for physiotherapy, and belong to one of its largest and most populous geographical regions, the Asia Western Pacific region. In 2015, WCPT Congress, a quadrennial international event, will be hosted in Singapore.