A global shortage of physical therapists and other rehabilitation professions is affecting access to health services to people with disabilities, said WCPT in a statement to the World Health Assembly back in May. Supporting a resolution endorsing the recommendations of the World Report on Disability and calling on the World Health Organization and its member states to ensure equal access to health services for persons with disabilities, WCPT said that national programmes promoting physical activity had to meet the needs of all people, including those with disabilities.
The statement, presented by Catherine Sykes, WCPT’s Professional Policy Consultant, said that physical therapists and other health professionals should be engaged in the development of national disability strategies. She said that WCPT supported the resolution’s recommendation to invest in education so that rehabilitation services could be developed, and pointed to the range of resources WCPT has available to support the development of physical therapy education.
The WHA resolution was passed, and an action plan is being developed in time for the next WHA in 2014.