The opportunity of introducing occupational therapy courses in universities was discussed during a meeting organized at Parliament on Friday.
Occupational therapy helps people develop or recover certain skills needed to carry out daily activities. The goal is to ensure an independent and efficient lifestyle.
Olga Cerneţchi, deputy rector of the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, noted that when it comes to occupational therapy, educational offerings in Moldova are modest today. While there are occupational therapy modules in certain programs at Moldovan universities, there is an increasing need to train specialists in this field.
“The idea of creating an occupational therapy master’s program is certainly taking shape. This could be an interdisciplinary program that involves several existing departments; the University of Medicine has such experience. Or we can even make it inter-university, possibly this can be done together with the Pedagogical University, which has specialists targeted on certain subjects. And this thing is doable”, said Olga Cerneţchi.
“It costs a lot by Moldovan standards to train an occupational therapist. They are in great demand and often migrate to work in other countries. It is important that we train this specialty and that our children with disabilities and special needs are reintegrated into the community, not excluded. Occupational therapy, such as ABA, is practically the only method to put people with special needs in the capacity of self-service and to include them back into society”, said Alexandru Iacub, Secretary General of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection.
On the platform of the Parliamentary Commission for Social Protection, Health and Family, a working group will be established to promote occupational therapy in Moldova.