PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT:“It is vital for our healthcare systems to focus on helping people become, and stay healthy, rather than simply managing their diseases, or conditions”

Reference Number: PR172532, Press Release Issue Date: Nov 10, 2017

This was President Coleiro Preca’s central message as she delivered the opening address at the 12th Mediterranean Congress of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, organised by the Malta Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Association, in collaboration with the Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

The President said that the congress is a wonderful opportunity for unity, as no matter where the delegates come from, they are all dedicated to pursuing excellence in the field of physical and rehabilitation medicine.

“I am convinced that you have come together with one common goal, that is, to highlight the achievements in this sector, while also to encourage, promote, and share new developments for the benefit of your profession, and the people in your respective care,” the President said.

President Coleiro Preca told those present that the fact that the work that each one of them does in rehabilitation helps people in their care to overcome important health challenges makes them all very special professionals, adding that “as professionals and practitioners in this important field”, they are promoting essential processes of care and support which have far-reaching implications on the people they serve, their families, and whole communities.

The President said that the successful rehabilitation of people facing such challenges leads to community integration, independent living, and an eventual return to productivity within our societies.

“Your expertise allows you to improve the quality of life, for people who are living with disabling conditions”

President Coleiro Preca said that disabling conditions can have a devastating impact on a person’s life, and the lives of their loved ones. It is for this reason that diagnosing and treating pain as a result of injuries, illnesses, or disabling conditions is a way of giving an individual a new opportunity to live again, to be reintegrated into one’s family, in the community, and in society as a whole.

“Thanks to your expertise, you are managing to determine and lead towards effective treatment and prevention plans, by working within an interconnected and an interdisciplinary team of professionals,” the President said, whilst adding that the work of the professionals and practitioners in the field of rehabilitation medicine, has the potential to treat the person holistically, “not only the symptomatic manifestations of their conditions, but also the general well-being of the individual, and one’s family.”

The President stated that the contribution that physical and rehabilitation specialists and practitioners make to highlight an integrative holistic approach to care is very important towards healthy, resilient and inclusive communities.

The President encouraged those present to continue their focus on rehabilitation medicine, “across our countries and across the world” by pushing it to the next level “by keeping this essential sector high on our respective national agendas, for our policymakers and our authorities to take the necessary actions, towards providing the necessary resources, where necessary.”

“This congress will be an opportunity for all stakeholders to share knowledge and good practices”

The President emphasised on the need for continuous far-reaching collaborations, between and among the respective associations and societies, which operate within the area of physical and rehabilitation medicine, especially by creating regional synergies in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.

“With the united efforts of all the rehabilitation specialists, trainees and nurses, and other allied health professionals who are sharing experiences over the next four days, I am sure that you will deepen your vision of the benefits that rehabilitation medicine can make possible in the lives of your patients,” the President said.

Lastly, the President commended the organisers of the congress and all those present for coming together as they are not just sharing their expertise, but they are also bringing to the fore a diverse spectrum of nations and cultures in a spirit of friendship.

“Hence, you are showcasing another way of enriching oneself by appreciating and respecting each other, and by creating an opportunity for medical diplomacy”, President Coleiro Preca concluded.