In 2006 we launched the Emmaus Águilas Ragpickers Community, a social initiative in order to answer the huge unmet needs of the physically disabled. In Piura these people lack state care solutions, there are very few specialist clinics for the physically disabled in the area and the ones we do have are very expensive.
We call our centre the Centre for Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation and Massage and we have been working for the community in Piura for 11 years, providing health services for a low cost (and even free of change for those who are in extreme need).
The Centre currently provides care to around 600 patients per month, offering physical therapy and relaxing massage. 30-40% of the patients we treat have a limited amount of resources and thus pay the 'social' rate.
Such patients have a very limited amount of resources, we evaluate their situations and in the majority of cases they don't pay anything at all whilst the quality of care provided remains the same.
The centre was almost fully funded by the Emmaus Águilas Ragpickers Community until November of last year. We have decided to re-organise our administration and management in order to encourage new policies for financial self-sufficiency in the Centre. One of these new policies is to offer massages to local companies and to highlight our need to cover the costs of care for the patients that benefit from the 'social' rate.
Our rates for therapy and massage are lower than the rates offered by other similar institutions and we offer a high quality service at the same time. We have thus gained a good reputation in Piura.
11 of us have been working for several years on the following:
Medical engineers in physiotherapy
Experts in physiotherapy
Maintenance and hygiene
We also have agreements with local universities in order to organise internships and work experience for their students (we currently have 5 students doing internships and 1 on work experience)
We have agreements with:
ALAS PERUANAS UNIVERSITY
SEDES SAPIENTIAE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY
SAN PEDRO UNIVERSITY
THE AFOCAT TRANSREGION PIURA ASSOCIATION
THE AFOCAT PIURA ASSOCIATION
DELTE RAY X-RAYS
NAVARRA UNIVERSITY, SPAIN
CESAR VALLEJOS UNIVERSITY
To reduce the levels of vulnerability and exclusion due to disability
To provide concrete health care solutions for professional integration
To raise awareness about disability and creating equal opportunities
To help people to reduce their stress, anxiety and insomnia thanks to relaxing massage, facial therapy and therapy to relax muscle contractions
To work towards physical and psychological relaxation
- We have succeeded in providing care for marginalised people who are physically disabled and who have a limited amount of financial resources
- We built and equipped a modern physical therapy centre and did so during a long process that required professionalism
- We have built up our name and reputation in Piura
- We have been registered on the CONADIS register (National Council for the Integration of People with Disabilities)
Yes, we have had a positive impact because this is a social initiative which provides people with disabilities high-quality, low-cost care.
- We need renovate our premises and purchase medical equipment
- We need a mobile unit in order to be able to assist people who cannot travel to our Centre
- To widen the scope of the care offered
- To create alliances with other Emmaus groups in order to work together to support people with physical disabilities and to provide them with a better service in the future