Physios and Doctors have Professional Parity Following European Agreement
The agreement was signed earlier this year between the European regions of the World Confederation for Physical Therapies and the organisation for Europe’s doctors in Brussels.
Ms Bazin, the president of the European region of the World Confederation for Physical Therapies said: ‘This is about raising the profile of physiotherapy and supporting other professional bodies to work towards what we have achieved in the UK.’
The ‘memorandum of understanding’ commits the two professions to work in partnership to improve patients’ rights, healthcare delivery, and continued education and professional development.
Examples of the commitments in the agreement are
Ms Bazin added that many other European countries ‘have got a lot of work to do’. A significant problem is that doctors in many European countries ‘are afraid of physiotherapists becoming more powerful’
She explained: ‘If physios become the first point of contact it can be difficult because the doctors feel they should be prescribing the physiotherapy.
‘Another issue is that healthcare systems are set up with insurance companies that can’t sign off treatment unless the doctor has prescribed it.
‘Really this agreement is about saying “come on, this has got to stop”. We have got to push forward and there has to be trust that physiotherapists can work in a very positive way.
‘And actually, we know from across the world, that the sooner the patient sees the physiotherapist the less likely they are to develop chronic condition.’