The World Confederation for Physical Therapy has become a member of the World Health Professions Alliance – the international organisation representing health professions. Other members include the global bodies for nurses, physicians, dentists and pharmacists.
Through its five constituent professional bodies the WHPA now represents more than 600 national member organisations, speaking for 26 million health professionals in more than 130 countries.
WCPT’s normal independent campaigning and collaborations will continue. But by also joining a global voice for health professionals, WCPT believes physical therapists will have more influence on campaigning issues, and will have new opportunities to inform initiatives that could benefit millions of patients and service users.
“Joining this coalition gives us greater opportunity to work collaboratively with the world’s other health professions, while in no way compromising our independence,” says WCPT President Marilyn Moffat. “By pooling our resources and expertise, we are able to tackle global health issues more effectively and ensure that patients/clients and health care systems benefit.”
WCPT was officially welcomed during the WHPA’s 10th anniversary meeting in May. The other members of the WHPA are the International Council of Nurses, the World Medical Association, the International Pharmaceutical Federation and the World Dental Federation. For WCPT, the WHPA provides another communication channel between the health professions and key bodies in global health, such as the World Health Organization.
The WHPA is particularly concerned with:
- public health
- patient safety
- human rights in health
- regulation and collaborative practice
- health human resources and workforce issues
- health care systems
- counterfeit medicines.
The Alliance develops statements, fact sheets and advocacy tools on current health issues to influence policy and practice at global, national, and regional levels. It has brought together world health professions on several important initiatives in human rights, patient safety, tobacco control, health human resources and regulation of the health professions, and is currently running campaigns including:
- the Positive Practice Environments campaign, focusing on quality workplaces that attract and retain staff, improve patient satisfaction, safety and outcomes, and deliver cost-effective services;
- the Be Aware campaign to fight against counterfeit medical products.
At the WHPA meeting and leadership summit in May, WCPT President Marilyn Moffat said: “We were delighted to be part of the first and second World Health Professions Conferences on Regulation of the Professions, where it became so incredibly apparent how all of our professions face similar problems around the globe.”
“WCPT looks forward to being able to contribute to WHPA’s continued efforts through this forum on leadership, the regulation conferences, the varied campaigns, and the international advocacy to impact both policy and practice.”