World Physiotherapy has released a joint statement calling for no universal health coverage without rehabilitation and assistive technology to mark Universal Health Coverage Day.
Produced in collaboration with Humanity & Inclusion, International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Light for the World, World Federation of Chiropractic, World Federation of Occupational Therapists, the statement calls for world leaders to reaffirm and enhance the recognition of rehabilitation and assistive technology, as an essential part of universal health coverage.
A recent WHO and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation report estimated 1 in 3 people globally need rehabilitation. This number has increased by 63% from 1990 to 2019 and will continue to increase due to an ageing global population and the increasing prevalence of chronic, non-communicable diseases, injuries and traumas.
However, more than 50% of people in need of rehabilitation cannot access it, particularly in low and middle-income countries/territories, and access to assistive technology in some parts of the world can be as low as 3%.
Universal Health Coverage Day is the annual rallying point for advocates to raise their voices and share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, call on leaders to make smarter investments in health, and remind the world about the imperative of universal health coverage.
Jonathon Kruger, World Physiotherapy chief executive officer, said: “The World Physiotherapy vision is that everyone has universal access to quality physiotherapy services where and when needed. It is critical that we collectively work towards making that vision a reality through our advocacy activities on Universal Health Coverage Day”.
This Universal Health Coverage Day, the joint statement will raise awareness of a new political declaration that will be adopted at the United Nations’ high level meeting on universal health coverage in September 2023. This will be a crucial opportunity to revamp commitments and pave the way towards more collaborative efforts, building on the 2019 United Nations political declaration on universal health coverage.