Briefing paper examines impact of COVID-19 on fragile health systems and vulnerable communities

World Physiotherapy has published a briefing paper on the impact of COVID-19 on fragile health systems and vulnerable communities, and the role of physiotherapists in the delivery of rehabilitation.

The latest briefing paper in the World Physiotherapy COVID-19 series focuses on:

  • the change in delivery of rehabilitation and access to physiotherapy 
  • the impact of decreased physiotherapy rehabilitation services 
  • potential changes required in human resources and workforce planning to meet the needs post COVID-19 
  • the importance of longer term investment in physiotherapy and rehabilitation post COVID-19

World Physiotherapy president Emma Stokes said:

COVID-19 continues to impact the practice and delivery of physiotherapy around the world. This paper examines its particular impact in fragile and vulnerable communities, which although generally located in low and middle income countries (LMICs), can exist in all countries

The pandemic has further highlighted the inequalities that exist between the rich and poor and the consequent impact for those in fragile systems and vulnerable communities.

The focus of this year’s World PT Day was on the importance of rehabilitation in the recovery of COVID-19. With the materials now translated into over 50 languages, the global impact of this pandemic and the role that physiotherapy plays is highlighted once more.

Rehabilitation continues to be wrongly perceived as a non-essential health service for most patients when for many patients it is essential.’

The briefing paper is the fifth in a series published by World Physiotherapy exploring the response of the global physiotherapy profession to COVID-19. All briefing papers may be accessed at: https://world.physio/covid-19-information-hub/covid-19-briefing-papers.

Download briefing paper 5

Download the briefing paper (PDF)

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