Italy National OT News

News from Italy, 2019

Dear COTEC members,

First of all, a BIG CIAO from Italy!

One of our big challenges is still to spread the profession among health professionals and the population, to do so we are supporting and organising a lot of events to inform about Occupational Therapy and make people and politicians talk about it to rise interest.

For example, this year the Italian Association of Occupational Therapists organised a big event on the 27th October to celebrate the World OT day with the goal to continue diffuse the profession knowledge.

The title of the event was: “Occupational therapy between appropriateness and efficacy: a glance at the territory”. The convention was held in Pascara, a city in the central part of Italy where the occupational therapy is not enough widespread on the territory and among the population, but it is a place with a rich and young movement influenced by the nearby OT University course in Chieti. Here information is essential for our profession and colleagues.

The conference was open to all health professionals and citizens. During this long and fruitful day many notable persons of influence, like the council member for social policies of the municipality of Pescara and the Pescara diocese archbishop (a lot of rehabilitation centres are managed by the church), brought their official greetings and talked about their occupational therapy experiences.

Another important event we had the possibility to participate in was the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in Rome.

This was essential to build links with WHO and Italian politicians. During one of the social meetings we were able to meet the undersecretary of the Italian Ministry of Health, who was available to talk with us about the Italian situation of occupational therapy and we promoted and asked him for more profession inclusion in the various social-health contexts.

Another key meeting was the one with COTEC President, Stephanie Saenger; with her we shared the importance of continuing planning meetings with political institutions to discuss and promote the profession even further with “in-formation” events.

This year is and will be a turning point for our association and profession in Italy because at the end of 2018 a regulatory body for OTS was created. Nothing is clear yet about what will be the regulatory body mission and tasks because this regulatory body will monitor not just OTs but all the rehabilitation professionals. It is like an umbrella regulatory body and we are not sure about the role of this body in defending and promoting the profession if they are not OTs. This will for sure help us face the illegal practice of the profession but in the other side our members must subscribe to the regulatory body and they are facing extra costs. We will keep you all up to date with some news!

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