Health Policy of the European Region of the WCPT
The Health Policy Statement of the European Region of WCPT was first adopted in 2000. That version, based on the Health Policy of the former Standing Liaison Committee of physiotherapists in the EU, was prepared by the EU Working Group. A revised Health Policy Statement was prepared by the EU Working Group and the Professional Issues Working Group and was adopted at the General Meeting in 2004. At that meeting it was agreed that the EU Working Group would follow the implementation of the Health Policy Statement by the Member Organisations at national level. A follow-up survey resulted in a revision of the Health Policy Statement, prepared by the EU Working Group for approval at the General Meeting in 2006.
revised Health Policy Statement deals with the role of physiotherapists in health
care, the physiotherapist’s role in the provision of services, prevention and
health promotion, and the accessibility and quality of physiotherapy services.
The Health Policy Statement of the European
Region of WCPT may be used in the following ways:
- In relation to physiotherapy education, employment, patient care and continuing professional development both at international and national level.
- To inform the design of qualifying education and continuing professional development as it is important to ensure students understand the importance of the public health role for physiotherapists
- To emphasise that physiotherapists must adapt to changes and development in national health care, which can offer new opportunities and challenges for physiotherapists in the future.
- As a tool to influence the authorities regarding laws, health programmes and plans where physiotherapists are involved.
- As a reference when developing a national health policy of a physiotherapy association.
- As a reference when seeking, developing and implementing the most effective and appropriate methods and person-centered services (the best for the patient), which are based on population and patient`s needs.
- As a tool to promote patient´s self-referral in all physiotherapy settings. Appropriate legislative and regulatory policies need to be in place to recognise and permit practice without a medical referral, as well as required levels of entry-level physical therapy education. Self-referral supports self-care/self management, particularly of long-term conditions, by empowering patients to be more actively involved in managing their condition.
- To emphasize that patient education should be included in the basic undergraduate curriculum and should be integrated in the physiotherapy practice.
- As a reference to promote clinical leadership, policy and management roles of physiotherapists.
Member Organisations are encouraged to translate the Health Policy Statement into their national language and implement it at national level.
The European Region of WCPT encourages the establishment of national health policies for the physiotherapy profession.
The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) aims to improve global health care by encouraging and supporting high standards of physiotherapy education and practice. The commitment to ensure high standards and quality of services is reflected in the Declarations of Principles and Position Statements (WCPT 1995, revised 2011)1.
The European Region of WCPT endorses WCPT commitment to improve health care and in response has adopted the European Health Policy Statement, also taking account of relevant policy initiatives within WHO and the EU.