COVID-19: maintaining essential rehabilitation services across the carecontinuum

Janet Prvu Bettger ,1,2 Andrea Thoumi,2 Victoria Marquevich,3Wouter De Groote,4 Linamara Rizzo Battistella,5 Marta Imamura,5Vinicius Delgado Ramos,6 Ninie Wang,7 Karsten E Dreinhoefer,8 Ariane Mangar,9Dorcas B C Ghandi,10 Yee Sien Ng,11 Kheng Hock Lee,12 John Tan Wei Ming,13Yong Hao Pua,13 Marco Inzitari,14 Blandina T Mmbaga,15 Mathew J Shayo,16Darren A Brown,17 Marissa Carvalho,18 Mooyeon Oh-Park,19 Joel Stein20
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COVID-19 is overwhelming healthcare services and healthcare workers globally. The response, appropriately, is on the ability to care for people who become critically ill, protect their carers and keep people physi-cally distanced. However, this response has shifted what is considered and how to provide essential healthcare services. Rehabilitation services, which optimise physical and cogni-tive functioning to reduce disability, are a core component of high-value care.1 The decisions to shift, transform, delay or discon-tinue rehabilitation care are complex. These decisions have societal implications for today and the future. This commentary describes adjustments to the continuum of rehabilita-tion services across 12 low-income, middle-income and high-income countries in the context of national COVID-19 preparedness responses (table1) and provides recommen-dations for decision makers on the provision and payment of these essential services.