Rehabilitation 2030: A Global Initiative to Improve Access to Quality Services

The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a major step forward in making rehabilitation one of its top priorities in the coming years with the launch of the Rehabilitation 2030 initiative. This initiative was created to address the growing unmet need for rehabilitation services around the world, and to promote the role of rehabilitation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations. The objectives of this complementary meeting were to agree on a framework for research on health policies and systems for rehabilitation, identify initial research questions, and outline the factors that allow and the barriers to developing health systems and policy research capacity in rehabilitation. The first two days of the meeting included presentations on the current situation of rehabilitation services in several countries and the efforts made by several member states to integrate rehabilitation into their health care systems.

Dr. Carlos M. González, from the Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR, USA., maintained that coordinated promotion by professional rehabilitation groups, subspecialties and users is required to achieve this goal. It was also recognized that health policy planning is essential to improve access to rehabilitation services.

The Rehabilitation 2030 initiative calls for strong leadership and political support for rehabilitation at the subnational, national and global levels. Technologies and knowledge exist to rehabilitate many symptoms, but their availability is inadequate in many parts of the world, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The purpose of this article is to report on the scientific events of these two days, which will most likely mark a turning point in the history of rehabilitation. The common goal of these initiatives is to create comprehensive models of providing rehabilitation services that progressively achieve equitable access to quality services, including care products, for all people - including those living in rural and remote areas.

To do this, it is necessary to develop a strong multidisciplinary rehabilitation workforce that is appropriate to the country's context and promote rehabilitation concepts throughout the education of health personnel.

Blanche Taboada
Blanche Taboada

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