WHO: Rehabilitation: Key for health in the 21st century

Rehabilitation has a critical role in preventing and minimizing limitations in functioning. Rehabilitation services allow people to optimize their daily functioning to manage basic but essential skills, such as communication, mobility and self-care. This in turn helps to minimize the health, social and economic impact of health conditions, and improves overall quality of life. While individuals and their families benefit most from rehabilitation, society as a whole also gains as individuals with improved functioning participate more in community life, education and employment.

Rehabilitation is part of universal health coverage and the continuum of care for everyone. Rehabilitation policies and services assist countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as rehabilitation plays a key role in ensuring good health and well-being (SDG 3).

Many children, adults and older people also need rehabilitation services to achieve other SDGs and to participate in society on an equal basis. WHO/Europe promotes rehabilitation in health systems to strengthen and expand the availability of quality rehabilitation services.