Making the case for rehabilitation | Joint statement to the European Commission

The value of rehabilitation is well known amongst our community, but there remains a vital need to advocate for rehabilitation services amongst the wider global health community. This is one of the reasons the ReLAB-HS project was set up – to address the growing global need for rehabilitation in an inclusive and collaborative way that ultimately will improve quality of life for people all over the globe.

At a European Union (EU) level, whilst rehabilitation services and access to rehabilitation for people in need is supported, rehabilitation was missing from the last EU Global Health Strategy in 2010. As work begins on the updated strategy there is an important opportunity to give voice to the unmet rehabilitation needs of 2.4 billion people globally.

We are delighted to see the recently published joint statement to the European Commission. This document is a collaboration between Humanity & Inclusion,International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, International Spinal Cord Society, Light for the World,Liliane Foundation,World Federation of Occupational Therapists, World Physiotherapy, Euro Spine and the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

Making the Case for Rehabilitation in the new EU Global Health Strategy

We have learnt from the ReLAB-HS project the strength of collaboration and the value in being inclusive to the whole rehabilitation team, and it is great to see the same approach in this policy statement.

You might have noticed one of the ways that Physiopedia are working towards inclusivity – if you’ve spotted the new look to our online learning platform, now Plus. Plus (previously Physioplus) was recently rebranded to be more inclusive of all rehabilitation professions – and to harness the strength of collaboration.

When we all work together to address the growing need for rehabilitation great things can happen!

Making the case for rehabilitation in the new EU Global Health Strategy: Call for Action

In the frame of the elaboration of a new EU Global Health Strategy, we call on the EU to:

  1.  Embed in its strategic approach to health not only the imperative of reducing mortality and morbidity, but also the urgency to foster people’s daily functioning, participation, well-being, and quality of life.
  2. Recognise and respond to the growing global need of rehabilitation, by investing financial, human and technical resources to strengthen the provision of quality rehabilitation services and assistive technology worldwide (considering the accessibility, acceptability, availability, and affordability of these services).
  3. Ensure compliance with other existing global and EU frameworks and commitments, including those on universal health coverage and primary health care, the EU Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030, the EU Global Gateway, and
  4. Promote an integrated, people-centred health system model through a comprehensive array of health services, including rehabilitation and provision of assistive technology, while encouraging engagement and empowerment of people and their families, carers, and communities.

Read the full statement: Making the Case for Rehabilitation in the new EU Global Health Strategy