Physiotherapists at World Health Professions Regulation conference

Health profession regulation high on global agenda

Facing challenges to acting in the public interest was the theme of the fifth World Health Professions Regulation conference, held in Geneva in May 2018.

More than 130 people from 36 countries attended the WHPA event, which brings together leaders and regulators of the health professions every two years to discuss regulation systems.

WCPT Vice President Margot Skinner gave a presentation on the value of a mutual recognition agreement between Australia and New Zealand. She said: “On a global basis the agreement is unique in breadth and scope and provides increased opportunities for health professionals to work in eachother’s countries as well as encouraging co-operation between regulatory authorities.”

With health profession regulation high on the global agenda, the conference topics focussed on three areas: setting the right standards; safety, quality and compliance; and the quality of lifelong learning.

WCPT was also represented on the conference organising committee by Dr Jon Warren. He said: “It is important that regulation, like clinical practice, be evidence-informed. Regulation seeks to assure public safety with the fine balance of risk and compliance measures. This conference provided a great platform for these ‘right-touch’ regulation issues to be discussed from a research and experiential perspective. It also enabled interprofessional dialogue between both developing and developed countries.”

Throughout the conference, the importance and value of working collaboratively was stressed, as the true value of working together to benefit patients can also be enhanced by healthcare professions looking at regulatory systems together.

The WHPA is a partnership of the International Council of Nurses, the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, the World Dental Federation, and the World Medical Association.

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