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  • WHPA: To Grow Worldwide, Professional Regulation Needs to Be Responsive

    As health care professional regulation's prominence increases worldwide, regulatory models will need to develop in ways that are sensitive to regional differences and changes in the overall health care landscape. That was the challenge presented to physical therapists (PTs), physicians, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists at a recent international conference sponsored by the World Health Professions Alliance.

    While attendees to the May 17–18 conference in Geneva, Switzerland, stressed the importance of diverse approaches to individual regulatory frameworks, the WHPA members also agreed that the shared goals of professional regulation should be "person-centered, involving patient care, patient rights, and patient safety," and should "take into account social and economic welfare and professional practice," according to a WHPA press release.

    "It is clear that there is no single model for a good regulatory system," said Marilyn Moffatt PT, DPT, PhD, GCS, FAPTA, president of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), "but all should ensure that physical therapists and other health professionals provide safe and competent services. Regulatory bodies also need to understand the day-to-day realities of the health professions they are seeking to regulate."

    The WHPA conference on regulation was held immediately preceding the World Health Organization's (WHO) World Health Assembly in Geneva. APTA is a member of WCPT.

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