The President of the Portuguese Physiotherapists Order, António Lopes, was invited to participate in the discussion of the Strategic Plan of the Santa Maria School of Health (ESSSM) for the years 2023-2027, which took place on June 4, at Colégio Luso-Francês, in Porto, with the presence of the Board of Directors, Teachers, Staff, Students and ESSSM Partners.
With a reflection focused on the historical path and the future of physiotherapy, the President of the Portuguese Association of Physical Therapists presented the integrated and integrative perspective of the work that the Association is doing in the context of the development and affirmation of the profession. António Lopes pointed out that there are three main driving forces for the development of the profession: a pole centred on the regulatory (legislative) framework and the planning of human resources in the health area; a pole centred on the production and preparation of the necessary human resources and a third which employs the existing human resources. He stressed that even though each pole has different actors, decision-makers and dynamics of its own, the three influence each other and a change in one pole can have an impact on the others.
From this reflection result the three pillars that guide the mandate of the current Board of the Order of Physiotherapists:
- Physiotherapy, as a scientific discipline (the hub of basic and specialised teaching and research);
- Physiotherapy as a regulated profession (pole of the regulatory framework - where self-regulation has now been added, and the redefinition of the professional profile, the creation of the code of ethics and technical standards;
- Physiotherapy as a service provision (pole of employment and use of physiotherapists, in the diversity of sectors and contexts).
In this context, the President took the opportunity to underline the importance of a joint and regular work between Higher Education Institutions and the Order of Physiotherapists, in order to enhance the gains that the regulation pole, on the part of the Order, may have in education and in the effective provision of physiotherapy services.