Coronavirus outbreak: The Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists appoints a crisis team.

The President of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists, Professor Maciej Krawczyk PT, PhD, has appointed a crisis team on March 12, 2020. The team focuses on the crisis in physiotherapy that is the result of a pandemic caused by the COVID19.

The team’s goal is to monitor the situation and develop solutions and recommendations in the areas of:

  • ensuring the safety of patients and physiotherapists during a pandemic;
  • counteracting the spread of COVID19 ;
  • finding methods and ways to go out of the crisis. This applies to both recommendations in the area of legal solutions and those of an economic nature.

The crisis team works in a continuous mode and informs about activities on a regular basis. []

Activities that have been performed so far:

  • Meeting of representatives of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists with the Vice President of the National Health Fund – Chairman of the team for monitoring the correctness of the conduct of healthcare providers in cases of suspicion or infection with COVID19. During the meeting, the participants discussed the possibility of reimbursement for the readiness to provide physiotherapy services. The initially discussed proposal was included in a letter addressed to the National Health Fund on issuing guidelines for ways to continue / suspend reimbursed physiotherapy and to introduce desired forms of cooperation with the National Health Fund during a pandemic.
  • Application to the Chief Sanitary Inspector for recommendations for physiotherapists during a pandemic.
  • Developing recommendations for private practices not cooperating and not providing services to the National Health Fund in the field of pandemic procedures.
  • Addressing the Prime Minister, the Minister of Development, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health regarding special support for entrepreneurs providing physiotherapy services.
  • An appeal to all providers of rehabilitation services (excluding round-the-clock services) regardless of the source of financing (private, reimbursed) for postponing the dates of patient visits in accordance with the guidelines on the epidemic status. Physiotherapy should be provided only to patients for whom its interruption is associated with life-threatening or serious, irreversible damage to health.
  • An appeal to stop the implementation of referrals for spa treatment and rehabilitation and to set new deadlines for referrals issued and confirmed by the National Health Fund.
  • A call to suspend occupational therapy, rehabilitation stays and club activities addressed to the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy and the President of the Social Insurance Institution, the President of the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund, the President of the Board of the State Fund for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled People.
  • An appeal to suspend rehabilitation as part of disability prevention.
  • The Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists issued a letter to the Minister of Health with a request to equip physiotherapists with the necessary products and personal protection equipment. It focused on the safeguards of physiotherapists working with the most severe patients, in whom regular physiotherapy cannot be abandoned. In the letter, it again appealed to the Minister to immediately close physiotherapeutic outpatient clinics, day rehabilitation wards and limiting physiotherapeutic home care.
  • In response to letters and extensive activities of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists, the National Health Fund recommends limiting to the necessary minimum or withholding therapeutic rehabilitation services both in outpatient clinics, in the day and stationary wards and at home physiotherapy.
  • Publication of an example form to the National Health Fund informing that the healthcare provider used this recommendation, i.e. limited or suspended admission of planned patients.
  • The President of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists, in a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, proposed an amendment to the regulation on guaranteed services in the field of therapeutic rehabilitation. Pursuant to this change, physiotherapists would also be able to provide services in the form of ‘advice or consultation, using ICT systems or other communication systems’.
  • Launching the possibility of remote reporting to the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists suspension and limiting the admission of patients in physiotherapeutic practices and entities. The goal is to estimate the scale and extent of losses that Polish physiotherapy has suffered and continues to suffer due to the pandemic. The collected data will be the basis for negotiations in applying for financial assistance and support from national and EU funds.
  • A letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Development to cover private entities providing physiotherapeutic services with dedicated assistance and to join a representative of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists to a team that is working on special support for entrepreneurs.
  • Online meeting of medical professionals’ self-governments, a joint appeal to the Polish government, to the medical community and to patients.
  • Issue of guidelines and recommendations on safety in the office and a visit qualification survey as well as update survey.
  • Issue of recommendations for physiotherapy of adults with COVID19.