Rehabilitation medicine has been an emerging medical specialty in the past 20 years in Malaysia. Rehabilitation is a problem-solving process, outlined in the context of the holistic biopsychosocial model of illness, delivered in a person-centred way. This process requires expert, multidisciplinary teams working collaboratively based on agreed goals, employing a set of specific action plans tailored to the patient’s priorities, needs and aims. Rehabilitation medicine is a specialised service, just like other medical specialty for example cardiology or neurology. Unfortunately, when it comes to rehabilitation, most services are small and many patients are unable to access rehabilitation services, as there is no comprehensive or coherent framework to ensure full coverage and adequate accessibility.
COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated changes in healthcare at an unprecedented scale and speed, both in terms of clinical practice and in service design, delivery, funding and collaboration. Rehabilitation has also adapted, for example, we are seeing telehealth being adopted and adapted and emerging new rehabilitation techniques like virtual reality and artificial intelligence being incorporated in rehabilitation techniques and technologies.
COVID-19 is predicted to challenge rehabilitation and healthcare with many more patients needing longer-term complex rehabilitation input due to Long Covid. It is vital that rehabilitation is included in the major changes that will inevitably occur throughout healthcare to ensure that many people not only with residual problems after COVID-19, but those with disabilities as a result of any illnesses will receive expert rehabilitation assessment, advice, and treatments.
Dr. Nor Azira Ismail
MBBS (Adelaide), MRehabMed (Mal), CMIA (NIOSH)
Medical Director & Consultant Rehabilitation Medicine Physician
Daehan Rehabilitation Hospital Putrajaya
Owned by Daehan Rehabilitation Services Sdn. Bhd. [201601022903 (1193842-P]
Block B, Two IOI Square, IOI Resort,
Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya, Malaysia.