Carolina de Miguel Benadiba. President of Sermef.
The Spanish Society of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine (Sermef) has responded to the requests made by the Nursing Union, satsein which it demands that the health administrations directly refer patients to physiotherapy without first going through the consultation of a doctor specializing in Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine.
According to the union, They request this measure to “expedite” treatments and offer “faster and more efficient” care to all citizens. Among other issues, Satse has asserted that an early intervention by the physiotherapist prevents the possible aggravation of the pathology to be treated and that sequelae are not generated that can seriously affect the health and well-being of the affected person.
Sermef, a scientific society that brings together doctors specialized in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, demands from Satse “a rectification, respect and more seriousness regarding his request for direct referral of patients to physiotherapyapart from the medical specialist in Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine. It requires more knowledge of what care is like for people with disabilities, since the work of the rehabilitation doctor goes beyond the mere prescription of physiotherapy,” he explained in a statement.
The Rehabilitation MedicineIn his opinion, “It does not consist of prescribing physiotherapy or sending the patient to the physiotherapist, but rather a set of diagnostic and therapeutic measures perfectly coordinated to achieve the maximum functional recovery of the patient in the shortest possible time”.
From Sermef they understand that These statements “have been made without adequate knowledge of what the functional recovery of a patient is and what it consists of.since the treatments and approaches do not require only physiotherapy”. In fact, they highlight that “less than 50 percent of the patients who arrive at the Rehabilitation consultation are referred to physiotherapy treatments, but to other treatments”. ” If that remaining 50 percent accessed the physical therapist without being necessary, the waiting lists for the really important patients would skyrocket,” the statement reads.
A “serious health hazard”
For all this, Sermef wants to warn of the “serious danger to the health of patients and the sustainability of the public system that this measure may have, which contravenes current legislation and may negatively affect users of the public health system. According to the powers that current regulations give physiotherapists (Art. 7 of the Health Professions Regulation Law and Royal Decree 1001/2002, of September 27, which approves the General Statutes of the General Council of Physiotherapist Colleges), any physiotherapy action related to Medicine Physical and Rehabilitation, that is, with everything related to the diagnosis, evaluation, prevention and treatment of disability aimed at facilitating, maintaining or restoring the highest degree of functional capacity and independence possible to people, It must be carried out within the scope of the Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine services and under the effective and efficient coordination of the MFR Specialist Physicianas a competent physician to coordinate an interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation professionals in search of maximum benefit for the patient”.
He also wants “demonstrate that Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation does not consist of prescribing physiotherapy or send the patient to the physiotherapist but in a set of perfectly coordinated diagnostic and therapeutic measures to achieve the maximum functional recovery of the patient in the shortest possible time”.
Knowledge and specific training
“Necessary the performance of the different professionals of the Rehabilitation team (occupational therapist, speech therapists, psychologists, physiotherapists) in the right moment, together with the prescription of drugs, infiltrations and other interventional treatments, whose knowledge requires being a doctor and having the specific training to apply themjust as they are acquired in the training of the Rehabilitation specialist doctor during 4 years of MIR training, after 6 years of medical degree”, he indicates.
For all this, from the Sermef they emphasize that “the assumption by the physiotherapist or other health professions or doctors is inadmissible of different specialties, of functions or tasks that do not correspond to him and that are legally reserved to the specialist doctor in Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine”.
“The lack of dedication of the necessary resources, economic and human, by the Public Administrations to the public health systems and Rehabilitation, cannot justify actions contrary to the law and to the clear detriment of the quality of the health care that it must be provided at all times, by health professionals with the skills and abilities to do so,” he says. In this context, the Spanish Society of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine points out that in order to expedite Rehabilitation Services need more rehabilitation doctors on the staff.
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