Eluned Morgan made the comments during her speech at the CSP's Right to Rehab State of the Nation event.
Ms Morgan set out her vision for the future of the NHS in Wales, in which she said rehabilitation and the physiotherapists had a key role to play.
The event, hosted by the CSP, took place in the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay, and showcased the progress that is being made on the rehab agenda. It was also an opportunity to highlight the work of the Right To Rehab Campaign in Wales, as well as hear from clinicians from across Wales about how they are transforming the way rehab is delivered.
NHS staff from across Wales, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists took the opportunity to meet and discuss progress with the health minister, as well as other Senedd members in attendance.
Ms Morgan said: "I am really pleased to be speaking to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy because physiotheraphy is absolutely key to rehabilitation. People don't really know what they can achieve until they've got somebody there to help them, to push them, to encourage them. But they need to be experts and specialists and that's why we have physiotherapists, people who really understand how far you can push people and when you need to pull back. And that's why physiotherapy is absolutely key."
The event began with a summary of the achievements of the Right to Rehab campaign in Wales, followed by presentations from exemplar services across Wales. They included a presentation on Hywel Dda UHB’s home first programme by Adele Davies and Leanne Walters, the Home based memory rehab pilot by Aneurin Bevan UHB Head Occupational Therapist Jessica Moss, and an update on the rehab standards work by Rhian Harrington at HEIW.
CSP Wales Policy and Public Affairs Manager Calum Higgins said:
“This was a great opportunity to highlight the progress made in Wales, and look towards the future. It’s clear that rehab services have made strides forward since before the pandemic, and that rehab now has significant political buy in. However we need to learn from the services we’ve heard from today and make sure we do this great work equitably across Wales, and we continue to invest in the AHP workforce.”
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