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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared July 17 of every year as National Physiatry Day.

In signing Proclamation No. 1017 last September 10, Duterte instructed the Department of Health (DOH) to promote the observance of the National Physiatry Day, as well as, identify the programs, projects, and activities for its yearly celebration.

All other agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, are directed, and all local government units and the private sector are encouraged, to cooperate with the DOH in implementing programs and activities pursuant to this proclamation.

“Stroke and low back pain are among the leading causes of acquired disability in the Philippines, and the number of patients undergoing rehabilitation medicine assessment and management, majority of which are in the National Capital Region, has greatly increased in the last four decades,” said Duterte.

“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,” he added.

Also known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the practice of Physiatry is a branch of Medicine that aims to prevent the loss of ability to function of patients with physical impairments of patients with musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and other systems disorders, by using physical means, including non-surgical methods, such as physical therapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy, and medication, among others.

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