Scanning the professional horizon

What’s going to affect physical therapy and health services across the world in the next decade? At its meeting in London in November, the WCPT Executive Committee (EC) scanned the external environment to see what might influence the profession and health in the years ahead as part of its strategic planning process.

The EC and representatives from the Secretariat identified global issues such as natural disasters, pandemics and the global economic crisis as possible influences. But it also foresaw influential changes within the health and professional environment.

The pressures on the global health workforce and the inequitable distribution of health professionals might bring supply and demand issues to the fore. WCPT’s member organisations are likely to continue to grow, and questions about national regulation and recognition of the profession will remain a major concern.

The profession is likely to be addressing questions of scope of practice, changing service delivery models, the dangers of professional fragmentation, meeting population health needs, and obtaining quality data for decision making.

Such horizon-scanning is repeated by the Executive Committee throughout its term of office. “It informs future planning and long-term thinking about the needs of the profession and WCPT,” explains Tracy Bury, WCPT’s Director of Professional Policy. “It provides information to inform the development of flexible strategies that enable WCPT to respond quickly to the changing environment and proactively prepare for changes”.