WCPT Chief Executive Officer Jonathon Kruger recently spent nine days in Taiwan advocating for physical therapy and the role of WCPT.
The visit was arranged at the invitation of the Taiwan Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) to raise the profile of physical therapy within Taiwan, and demonstrated advocacy in action.
During the visit, Jonathon met the directors of the Taiwan Physical Therapy Association in Taipei to discuss local issues and deliver a workshop, Advocacy in Physical Therapy Strategies. He was also invited to be part of a delegation to meet Premier Lai at the Executive Yuan, Dr Shih, the Director-General of Department of Medical Affairs at Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Jonathon said: ‘Participating in these meetings gave WCPT the opportunity to amplify the voice of TPTA by bringing our experience and expertise to the negotiations, provide evidence of the benefit of direct access to improving health outcomes, and demonstrate safety is not compromised by this work.’
The outcome of these meetings included:
- an agreement to fund a joint WCPT-TPTA project, enhance the health and wellbeing of children in middle/low income countries in the Asia Western Pacific Region
- a commitment to introduce legislation to support direct access physical therapy.
Suh-Fang Jeng, spokesperson for the Executive Board of TPTA, said: ‘Jonathon’s workshops have inspired many students and members of TPTA to practice advocacy in making changes. Jonathon has also provided global perspectives when meeting with Taiwan government officers to advocate more PT autonomy and international participation. We have carried on the momentum and look forward to a better practice model.’
In addition to the meetings with Taiwan politicians, Jonathon also delivered a series of advocacy workshops for members of the Taiwan Physical Therapy Association and workshops on preparing to lead change to physical therapy students at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, the National Cheng-Kung University in Tainan, and the Kaohsiung Medical University in Kaohsiung.
This visit builds on WCPT’s advocacy work with member organisations, healthcare professionals, and local politicians in Ivory Coast, Japan, Malta, and Senegal.