The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP ) has launched a nationwide public awareness campaign highlighting the vital role in healthcare played by chartered physiotherapists.
Speaking at the launch, Ruaidhrí O’Connor, CEO of the ISCP said: “Our nationwide public awareness campaign is based on a series of “Did You Know…?” advertisements on the role of chartered physiotherapists in 12 key clinical areas. Our campaign will also draw attention to the urgent need for physiotherapy services to be widely available throughout Ireland in order to help people to reach their full potential following injury, pain, or disability.”
Speaking at the launch, Annette Shanahan, president of the ISCP, said: “We are here today to highlight the work of chartered physiotherapists, specialised healthcare professionals who work, as part of the healthcare team, in a number of areas, including musculoskeletal and manual therapy, women’s health, respiratory care, paediatrics, oncology and palliative care, cardiac services, neurology and gerontology, intellectual disability, sports and exercise medicine, occupational health, and ergonomics and rheumatology.
“In promoting the profession I also wish to draw attention to the acute need of patients in these areas that require regular access to chartered physiotherapy services so that they can maximise their independence and reach their full potential in life.
“There is a serious shortfall of access to physiotherapy services in Ireland with waiting lists of up to one year or in some cases even longer. The Government is now faced with serious decisions regarding the funding of public health services and it is important to highlight the contribution that chartered physiotherapists make in the speedy rehabilitation and the return to full functioning of people requiring their services.
“It’s appropriate that this launch takes place in Croke Park, a famous venue in which Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh regularly has to fill in the gaps while the chartered physiotherapist is at work on the pitch.”
Speaking during the launch, Tomás Thompson, cystic fibrosis patient advocacy officer, said: “Physiotherapy is a part of the daily treatment regime for someone with cystic fibrosis and the relationships built between a chartered physiotherapist and their patient can be significant in the long-term treatment of cystic fibrosis.”
Joy Prendergast, who was diagnosed with MS in 1975, added: “After I had been diagnosed in 1974 in the Adelaide Hospital I knew nothing about MS except that some people regarded it as a tragedy if someone got it. I thought that I would never be able to work again. But I did and continued to work until 1990 when I retired and have been getting physiotherapy weekly now for about 18 years. This physiotherapy goes some way to helping me do the things some people take for granted such as housework, hobbies or spending time with family and friends. Attending my chartered physiotherapist every week has been a huge support and has enabled me to stay mobile and be better able to cope with the inevitable changes having MS makes to your lifestyle.”