ER-WCPT Newsletter 54 - October 2016

ER-WCPT Congress 2016 - only two weeks to go: 11 – 12 November 2016

There are just two weeks to go until the most important European physiotherapy event of 2016. The ER-WCPT Congress already has delegates from 57 countries – have you booked your place yet? The programme is complete* so you can plan your visit today.

For starters, here are some selected highlights from each theme:

Public health, prevention and social care Ireland, Sweden, Germany and UK are represented on the panel discussing Current Population Health from a European Perspective, chaired by CSP Chief Executive Prof Karen Middleton CBE. Being in, staying in or returning to work is the subject of Friday’s Fit for Work session.

Policy, strategy and influencing

Explore the different levels of physiotherapy programmes that serve for entry into Practice on Friday, and the intricacies of the Power of Social Media on Saturday

Responding to changing population needs

We look at Frailty – a complex phenomenon on Friday, and consider the role of skill mix and workforce development on Saturday.

Research, education and practice

The Patient Voice looks at the role of the patient in influencing their own care, and on Saturday, careers are under the microscope in Advancing my practice (speed-dating ER-WCPT style).

Practice in a digital age

Consider the benefits and challenges of e-technology with E-technology in patient care: enhancing outcome and challenging practice. On the same programme, the legal and ethical issues of e-technology is considered: Legalities, ethics, frameworks and guidelines: How to facilitate appropriate selection, implementation and evaluation of digital technologies in healthcare.

For ER-WCPT Member Organisation delegates, please find below 4 sessions recommended by the ER-WCPT to participate:

ER-WCPT Advancing physiotherapy – demonstrating value and impact – 11 November 2016 / 12:45 – 13:30 Discussion panel and debate

  • Presentation of the ER-WCPT aims, purpose, strategic plan, with and for its MOs and its liaison and work with WCPT
  • Presentations of three Working Groups (WG) main activities planned for the period 2016 – 2018 focusing on a topic with some questions for the audience seeking feedback.
    • Education WG will focus on Masters and PhD changes and trends asking the audience what information the WG and the Region, in conjunction with universities and educators, can provide that individuals cannot find by themselves.
    • Professional Issues WG will present guidelines related activities.
    • EU Matters WG will discuss about eHealth and Physiotherapy practice.

ER-WCPT & WCPT Future Network Workshop on Leadership and Networking – 12 November 2016 / 07:45 – 08:45 Networking session

This fringe meeting is designed to engage early career professionals and students with each other and Member Organisations.


  • Facilitate the engagement of the students with the MOs (Member Organisations) and increase student membership numbers;
  • Provide a service to the student members of the MOs;
  • Promote the right levels of physiotherapy education and practice;
  • Promote the MOs, ER-WCPT and WCPT (the value of membership and international actions).

Expected outcomes:

  • Which are the main issues or concerns facing students and recent graduates at the moment?
  • What ER-WCPT and MOs are not doing for students and recent graduates?
  • What students and recent graduates would like MOs and ER-WCPT to do and why?
  • Obstacles, barriers or opportunities in their relation with MOs?
  • How students and new graduates can start to support the Physiotherapy profession and the MOs, which are advocating and working for them and the whole profession?

ENPHE / ER-WCPT Session: Living in the 4th Industrial Revolution! Strategies in educating physiotherapists – 12 November 2016 / 11:15 – 12:30 Discussion panel and debate

This session aims to explore:

  • The impact of technological advances in health care and physiotherapy services on physiotherapy education
  • Learning and teaching strategies for educating physiotherapists
  • The implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution for education providers

Mobility across Europe – 12 November 2016 / 13:45 – 15:00 Networking session.

Physiotherapists are amongst the most mobile health professionals in Europe. We travel to seek job opportunities, education opportunities and international experience to push forward our career. Mobility for reasons to work across Europe has its challenges, however there are a number of routes which can be considered, including the European Professional Card (EPC). – Participation of a representative from the European Commission has been confirmed.

Mobility for reasons to study is also challenging as it presents logistical, cultural and educational differences. This session is for anyone considering working internationally and offers educators, clinicians and students an opportunity to explore:

  • Issues linked to working and studying across Europe
  • The implications of health professionals' mobility across Europe


Working Groups, summary and planned next steps after their first meeting for the period 2016 – 2018

Following the 10th General Meeting, the European Region sets its focus on the activities for the period 2016 – 2018 according to the Region Strategic Plan and its objectives. Three of the four WGs of the ER-WCPT held their first meetings as follows:

  • Professional Issues WG, 9 – 10 September 2016, in Warwick, UK
  • EU Matters WG, 16 – 17 September 2016, in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Education Matters WG, 6 – 7 October 2016, in Bucharest, Romania

The WGs discussed the work programme and agreed activities and deliverables for each activity to be presented to the MOs at the 2018 GM. Each WG agreed a distribution of responsibilities among its members. The secretariat has circulated the detailed time plans among the MOs.

2nd meeting for the period 2016 – 2018 for each WG are scheduled as follows:

January 2017

19 – 21 EU Matters WG - in Haapsalu, Estonia

February 2017

2 – 4 Education Matters WG - in Hamburg, Germany

23 – 25 Professional Issues WG  - in Stockholm, Sweden

The 1st meeting of the Foundation WG for the period 2016–2018 will take place in Brussels, Belgium on 18 November 2016


Member Organisations events

The 11th National Congress with International participation of the Romanian Federation for Physiotherapy took place on 6 – 8 October 2016, in Bucharest, Romania.

The Education Matters WG held it’s meeting in Bucharest previous to the congress in order to support the Romanian association with presentations. The ER-WCPT representatives presented on conducting research and evidence based in Physiotherapy. The Region also expressed its support to improve the Romanian national curricula and regulation of the profession. The ER-WCPT representatives had a meeting with delegates from the Romanian Universities and national authorities in this regard.

ER-WCPT Working Groups are willing to collaborate and support the associations at national level, if your association requires it please contact the secretariat.


Members of the Executive Committee have also participated with presentations in the 10th International Congress of the Order of Physiotherapists in Lebanon and the 9th Annual conference of the Slovak Chamber of Physiotherapists both held on 23 -24 September 2016



66th Session of the WHO Regional Committee meeting for Europe

The ER-WCPT, through its Executive Committee members, Roland Paillex, participated in the 66th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe that took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 12 - 15 September 2016.

Health ministers and high-level representatives of the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region, partner organizations and civil society took part in the session.

The European Region of the World Confederation for Physiotherapy presented an oral statements on the Action plan for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the WHO European Region

For further information


Mental Health – WHO Europe Staff groups active in mental health in the European Region

The European Region of the World Confederation for Physiotherapy, with the support and collaboration of the WCPT subgroup International Organisation of Physical Therapy in Mental Health (IOPTMH) has started collaboration and participation in the meetings of WHO Europe Staff groups active in mental health in the European Region.

The second meeting of this group took place on 7 June 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark and colleagues from IOPTMH attended on behalf of the ER-WCPT. A third meeting is planned on 19 December 2016 also in Copenhagen and Executive Committee member Roland Craps will attend. At that meeting is expected a release of a Consensus Statement - Working together towards an effective and influential mental health workforce in Europe – which will be supported by the ER-WCPT.


EU & Mental Health

EU Parliament - Spotlight on mental health in Europe - Mental health problems not only exact a toll on the people affected, they also put pressure on health, economic and welfare systems. The EU is promoting mental health through various instruments. Globally, World Mental Health Day is Held on 10 October each year to raise awareness.

For further information

Health and Food Safety Commissioner, Mr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, speech for World Mental Health Day – Mental health and young people in the digital age: Addressing risks, seizing opportunities.

Full speech


Meeting of EU health ministers – Slovakian Presidency of the EU

On 3 and 4 October 2016, Bratislava hosted an informal meeting of the ministers of health of the 28 EU Member States, chaired by the Slovak Health Minister, Tomáš Drucker. The meeting was also attended by the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, and WHO Regional Director for Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab.

Ministers of health discussed the issue of shortages of medicines for human use, which is at the top of the political agenda in many European countries. Low prices of medicines leading to parallel exports, disruption in production and shortages of active substance are among the reasons for the problem. Ministers agreed that Member States can succeed in solving this issue through early and operational exchanges of information and regular mapping of the situation. Cooperation between Member States in this area is of high priority. 'At the forum, we focused particularly on identifying the main reasons for shortages of medicines and on seeking possible solutions to this issue. Our goal is to secure quality, safe and accessible treatment for all our patients,' said the Slovak Minister of Health, Tomáš Drucker.

Another topic highlighted at the meeting was food reformulation, with a focus on acquiring and evaluating Member States' good practices regarding the topic. In response to ever-increasing rates of overweight and obesity, which are reaching epidemic levels in Europe, it is necessary to promote decreasing the excessive intake of calories, saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, sugar and salts in food.

Participants in the informal meeting also discussed the issue of tuberculosis in Europe from the perspective of treatment, multidrug-resistance and vaccination.

Vaccination was also a topic of discussion as it is closely related to the consumption of antibiotics: decreases in vaccination result in an increase in the use of antibiotics. 'The Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance should be a health-policy priority for every country,' stated the Slovak health minister.


Health for All and All for Health - How the EU is helping Member States optimise their health systems

by Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General of the Directorate for Health and Food Safety, European Commission

How can the Commission help make health systems more effective, resilient and accessible? It's a complex challenge – Member States have their own national healthcare systems – their own networks of people, institutions and resources working in the field of health – so how can the EU provide added value?

As outlined in its Communication in 2014 on health systems, the Commission promotes cooperation at EU level with a view to strengthen effectiveness, increase accessibility and improve resilience of the national health systems in the EU.

To strengthen effectiveness, for example, the EU promotes health systems performance assessment, patient safety and integration of care. To improve resilience, it promotes cooperation on Health technology assessment (HTA) and eHealth. And to increase accessibility, the EU promotes a fit-for-purpose health workforce, access to innovative medicines and optimal implementation of the 2011 Directive on cross-border healthcare.

The triple objectives of effectiveness, accessibility and resilience are also the driving factors for considering health systems reforms in the context of the European Semester, i.e. the EU's yearly cycle of budgetary, macroeconomic policy coordination and structural reforms, through which the EU provides country-specific recommendations and assesses progress in the reform agenda.

The "semester process" has highlighted the following elements for health systems reforms: providing for and accessing effective primary health care services, making cost-effective use of medicines, improving integration of care, assessing the relative effectiveness of health technologies and encouraging health promotion and disease prevention.

In June 2016, the Council issued country specific recommendations (CSRs) to the Member States. Despite the overall streamlining and reduction in numbers of CSRs, the number of CSRs on health systems reforms increased from 11 in 2015 to 13 in 2016. Overall, in 2016, the focus of the health-related recommendations remained on the need to improve efficiency and sustainability of health systems, but this fiscal challenge is often combined with others - such as effectiveness, quality and/or accessibility of healthcare. Access to high-quality healthcare is stressed as an explicit policy aim in 6 CSRs this year. Further, many of the recommendations call for concrete, targeted reforms to optimise the hospital sector and to strengthen primary care.

The principle on access to healthcare, reflecting the need to provide timely access to good quality and affordable care for everyone, has also been included in the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Now more than ever, it is important to highlight the contribution that health brings to economic prosperity and social cohesion.


Health in the EU initiative for 2016 - 2017

With this initiative, the EU Commission will bring together internationally recognised expertise to provide Member States with evidence on health that is relevant to their specific country context and that can help maximise the effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of their health systems.

Announcing the State of Health in the EU at the Health Council, Commissioner Andriukaitis said: "I am pleased to announce a new effort the Commission is undertaking to bring together a wide array of country-specific and EU-wide knowledge on health in a concise, digestible and coherent package. This effort, called the "State of Health in the EU", is a two-year exercise in cooperation with the OECD, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and Member States. The aim is to boost analytical capacity and support Member States with their evidence-based policy making."

The State of Health in the EU comprises four components with the following timeline:

  1. November 2016: publication of the "Health at a Glance: Europe 2016" report prepared by the OECD in cooperation with the Commission. The structure of this report will be aligned to the objectives of the 2014 Communication on effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of health systems
  2. November 2017: a set of 28 individual country health profiles developed by the OECD and the Observatory in cooperation with the Commission. These expert-driven, analytical documents will provide complementary data and indicators, and emphasise the particular characteristics and challenges of each Member State. 
  3. November 2017: a Commission analysis accompanying the 28 country health profiles, giving Member States a succinct overview of the information provided in the first two products, linking them to the broader EU agenda and emphasising cross-cutting policy implications. 
  4. From December 2017: exchanges between individual EU countries and the Commission, the OECD and the Observatory, to discuss concrete implications of country findings, and help Member States make the best use of gathered evidence.


EU Parliament - A new vision for global health Sustainable Development Goal No 3

Agenda 2030, agreed by 193 United Nations member states In September 2015, has transformed the global health agenda. Moving away from the narrow approach taken by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and, more specifically, the third goal to 'encourage healthy lives and promote the well-being for all at all ages' (SDG 3) – propose a more comprehensive and horizontal vision for health. The MDGs focused solely on maternal and child health and on a limited number of communicable diseases that burden the developing world in particular. SDG 3's nine targets and four means of implementation, however, encompass universal Access to treatment of a large number of communicable and non – communicable diseases, as well as their prevention, addressing several major social, economic and environmental determinants of health and strengthening underlying health systems and research. The renewed health agenda's broad scope will demand political courage to reform the fragmented global health architecture and make it fit for the purpose of implementing the targets at global level.

A strong advocate of a systemic and human rights-grounded approach to health, the European Parliament recently called upon the Commission to present and implement the long overdue programme for action in global health as well as a plan for establishing universal health coverage.

For further information


A New Europass Framework: helping people make their skills and qualifications more visible

On 4th October 2016 the European Commission has adopted a proposal to revise the Europass Decision.

Europass is a suite of tools and services, which support the transparency of skills and qualifications across the European Union.

With this revision, the Commission aims to simplify and modernise these tools for the digital age and to add a new feature using big data to map and anticipate labour market trends and skills needs.

Europe's prosperity depends upon its most valuable asset – its people. In a fast-changing global economy, it is people's skills, which will be a motor for our competitiveness and growth. Europass is one of Europe's most used and well-known skills resources.

Since it was established in 2005, more than 60 million Europass CVs have been created and hundreds of thousands of learners across the EU receive Diploma and Certificate Supplements every year, which help to make their qualifications more readable and easily comparable abroad; backed-up with advice and support services on the ground in Member States.

The new Europass Framework will build upon this successful formula with easy to use tools to help people identify and communicate their skills and qualifications in all EU languages. These include:

  • an improved online tool for creating CVs and skills profiles,
  • free self-assessment tools to help you evaluate your skills,
  • tailored information on learning opportunities across Europe,
  • information and support to help you get your qualifications recognised,
  • labour market intelligence about what skills are most in demand and where.

The new Europass Framework will also link with other EU tools and services across labour and education and training systems, such as the EURES job mobility portal, allowing for an easier exchange of information and more joined-up services for end-users.

National support centres will continue to offer individual advice and guidance to help people navigate the skills and qualifications landscape.

Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, stated: "Skills are a pathway to prosperity and the key to good quality jobs. With the right skills people can fulfil their potential as confident, active citizens in the changing world of work. The new Europass Framework will give people tools to showcase their skills and qualifications in a user-friendly way and access to information and support services to inform their choices about study and work across Europe."

The revision is part of the New Skills Agenda for Europe


European Commission: directive on a proportionality test for the regulation of professions

The European Commission has announced that it will be issuing a directive containing an EU-wide methodology for assessing the proportionality of national legislation on the regulation of professions. It will also publish opinions if it is of the view that legislation in a Member State imposes unnecessary requirements for a particular profession compared to other Member States.

For further information



CEN: work programme 2016

According to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), there is increasing demand from stakeholders in relation to the standardisation of healthcare services. The increasing mobility of patients and healthcare professionals implies a greater need to measure quality and compare services.

For further information

Council: standardisation of healthcare services

At the Council meeting of health ministers, Poland expressed its concern as to CEN’s work programme for 2016. In the view of the Polish delegation, it is the organisations of the healthcare providers concerned which should set out principles regarding good practices. It calls upon the Member States and the Commission to prevent further actions from CEN in this area.

For further information


Learn more about the Joint Action on Nutrition and Physical Activity

The project aim: The overall aim of the project is to contribute to halting the rise of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents by 2020. JANPA stands for “Joint Action on Nutrition and Physical Activity”.

In accordance with the policy actions that addresses overweight and obesity at European level and as a contribution to the EU Action plan on childhood obesity 2014-2020, JANPA has the focus on aspects such as: the economic burden of obesity in national health systems, the multilevel and multi-sectorial and life-course approach for preventing health problems that originate from childhood obesity, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy nutrition and related health problems, taking into account social inequality.

JANPA intends:

  • to use the economic evaluation of the cost of overweight and obesity in children to encourage public actions
  • to support a healthy start in life by promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity to pregnant women and families with young children, through identifying the successful multi-component interventions for different settings
  • to promote healthier environments in schools and pre-schools
  • to identify and share actions at local or national level regarding nutrition and physical activities.
  • to share specific tools to promote healthy eating and drinking practices and improve the consumers information at national level.

In order to achieve these specific goals the project is organized in 7 work packages (WP), each one linked to specific objectives and activities. Read the description of the work packages.

For further information

Pozvánka na VI. Sympozium Roboticky Asistované Rehabilitace