WCPT Vice President Margot Skinner delivered a powerful message committing the global physical therapy community to supporting improved access to assistive technology at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva on Monday 21st May.
The WHA side event, Assistive technology: making universal health coverage inclusive, was organised by the delegations of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan and Pakistan and took place in Geneva. In a statement to the event, Dr Skinner said WCPT strongly supported the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the areas of rehabilitation and global access to assistive technology.
She said: “WCPT believes that every individual is entitled to the highest possible standard of culturally appropriate healthcare delivered in an atmosphere of trust and respect for human dignity, and underpinned by sound clinical reasoning and scientific evidence.
“WCPT is supportive of the work of Chapal Khasnabis and his team at the GATE initiative and commends the efforts of all stakeholders to get the issue of assistive technology on to the agenda of the 71st World Health Assembly.”
WHO estimates that more than 1 billion people need one or more assistive products. With a global ageing population and a rise in non-communicable diseases, this number will rise beyond 2 billion by 2050, with many older people needing two or more products as they age. Only 1 in 10 people in need currently have access.
The Priority Assistive Products List is the first of four tools to be developed by the GATE initiative, towards increasing access to high-quality affordable assistive products as an integral component of universal health coverage