COVID-19 and global health workforce is focus for World Physiotherapy statements at WHA

World Physiotherapy recently took part in the 74th World Health Assembly, and supported joint statements as part of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) and the Global Rehabilitation Alliance (GRA).

World Physiotherapy made an individual intervention on health workforce and supported joint statements on non-communicable diseases, COVID-19, and pandemic preparedness.

In a joint statement with GRA on non-communicable diseases, World Physiotherapy called on member states to:

  • re-orient health decision-making to focus on population’s functioning and quality of life, in addition to mortality and morbidity, and to collect data on functional limitations and life consequences among people living with NCDs
  • integrate rehabilitation at all levels of health systems, from primary health care, to hospitals and specialized care, across the continuum of NCD care
  • champion or support a WHA Resolution on Rehabilitation in 2022, which would provide the political framework for stronger commitments and wider coverage, mobilise resources, and enhance the WHO’s Rehabilitation 2030 initiative.

World Physiotherapy’s individual intervention called for investment in the health workforce, highlighting that investment in rehabilitation, as an essential service, makes economic sense.

In response to COVID-19, World Physiotherapy called for appropriate rehabilitation for people living with Long COVID and for governments to recognise physiotherapists as frontline workers in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the substantial role physiotherapists will play in working with people affected by Long COVID. 

World Physiotherapy also supported the findings and actions included in the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) report and support for the WHPA positive practice environments campaign in the statement made by WHPA.

As a member of WHPA, World Physiotherapy believes concrete action and ambitious financial commitments are required to help safeguard the underfunded, COVID-affected health systems around the world. This is critical to ensuring the health, safety and retention of the global health workforce and it is essential to protect this workforce, their patients, families, communities, and the broader health of countries/territories.

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World Physiotherapy participation at 74th WHA