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For immediate release

Toronto, July 24, 2019. The results of a global survey of the chiropractic profession have revealed a significant lack of provision in low- and middle-income countries, according to a new paper published today in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies.

The survey, undertaken by the World Federation of Chiropractic, gathered data from its constituent national associations, government websites, internet searches and personal correspondence. Information was sourced from all 193 United Nations member nations, including 90 countries where at least one chiropractor was practising.

The results showed that overwhelmingly chiropractors were mostly located in North America (United States and Canada).

The survey also revealed that of the 48 educational institutions offering chiropractic programs, the majority were in high-income countries with almost 60% located in North America or Europe.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 has targeted universal availability, accessibility, acceptability, coverage and quality of health systems within strengthened health systems. The WFC’s mission statement (to advance awareness, utilization and integration of chiropractic internationally) aligns with this strategy.

WFC Secretary-General Richard Brown comments: “With low back pain being the biggest single cause of years lived with disability and an increasing ageing population, it is clear that there is a shortfall in the numbers of health workers globally who are trained to effectively manage spinal pain and disability. Chiropractors, as non-surgical experts in spine care, are well placed to make a positive impact, yet numbers need to rise. Expansion of educational provision in low- and middle- income countries and increased awareness by health policy makers are instrumental factors in meeting the needs of underserved populations.”

As with many global surveys, responses were mixed and the authors highlighted the need for further information gathering, monitoring and reporting of data. Despite this, the message is clear: health inequities seen throughout the world are reflected in the provision of chiropractic and more needs to be done to ensure adequate numbers of chiropractors in countries where the impact of spinal pain and disability is profound.

The full paper can be downloaded from Chiropractic and Manual Therapies at http://bit.ly/ChiroWorkforce

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