MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has declared July 17 of every year as National Physiatry Day.
Duterte signed on Thursday Proclamation No. 1017, which tasks the Department of Health (DOH) and relevant professional associations to identify programs and activities for the annual event.
The practice of physiatry, also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation, is a branch of medicine that aims to restore the quality of life and prevent the loss of ability to function of patients with physical impairments and disabilities.
In 2018, the World Health Organization revealed that musculoskeletal conditions are the second largest contributor to disability in persons worldwide.
Stroke and low back pain are among the leading causes of acquired disability in the Philippines, and according to the proclamation, the number of patients undergoing rehabilitation has “greatly increased” in the last four decades.
“Given the growing number of patients with rehabilitation needs in the country, there is a need to strengthen support in providing accessible and affordable medication and rehabilitation to them by raising awareness and encouraging collaboration among relevant stakeholders,” it read.
With the signing of Proclamation 1017, all other agencies of the national government, including government-owned corporations and state universities and colleges are instructed to cooperate with the DOH in advocating and implementing programs and activities related to the event. (PNA)