The International Social Security Association (ISSA) is stepping up its work on rehabilitation, and is taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on rehabilitation needs and capacities. The recently established ISSA Working Group on Rehabilitation has ambitious plans for the next two years.
First announced at the World Social Security Forum in October 2019, the ISSA Working Group on Rehabilitation was established in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The pandemic has accentuated the crucial importance of rehabilitation, as millions of coronavirus patients are in need of rehabilitation measures to help them get back to a normal life and to work.
The pandemic has put many rehabilitation institutions and services in a squeeze. While on the one hand they are doing their best to cope with increasing demand, on the other they need to follow rules on restricting access to facilities, social distancing and hygiene measures. On 27 January, the working group will organize an ISSA webinar focussing on rehabilitation strategies post-COVID-19, which will be an important opportunity to share international experiences and practices among ISSA members.
While COVID-19 will inevitably be an important focus area, the working group will take a broader perspective in its work. It aims to create a transversal platform for exchanges of good practices in the field of rehabilitation, to promote a holistic view of rehabilitation as an important pillar of social security and to carry out relevant activities responding to the needs of ISSA members.
The multidisciplinary nature of rehabilitation – involving work injury, health, employment and sickness benefits – motivated the creation of the working group, which will also coordinate with respective ISSA technical commissions and complement their important work. In particular, the working group will address the role of rehabilitation for active living and enhanced labour market participation. It will provide input to the development and update of ISSA Guidelines in areas of social security administration, making sure that rehabilitation has its rightful place within these.
With an ageing population, and promoting active ageing and ageing-in-place policies, rehabilitation is a core issue for social security beyond COVID-19. The working group will contribute to a number of key events to make sure that international cooperation and the exchange of good practices in this area is taken one step further.