APA Board and policy team meet with Federal MPs

 

We are pleased to inform you that the APA’s bold advocacy continues to strengthen the voice and visibility of physiotherapy with key policy makers.

Following a successful two days of meetings in Canberra across the whole political spectrum, we have secured support and seats at the table at key political forums.

The MPs we met with were:

  • The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health
  • The Hon Mark Coulton MP, Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government
  • The Hon Shayne Neumann MP, Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs
  • The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Shadow Minister for Employment and Industry, Small and Family Business
  • Ged Kearney MP, Shadow Assistant Minister for Aged Care
  • The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Shadow Minister for NDIS
  • Senator Rachel Siewart, Co-deputy Leaders of Greens.

Our advocacy has led to the following outcomes:

  • In our meeting with Minister Hunt, we secured a seat on the Expert Steering Committee for the National Preventive Health Strategy 2020-2030. This gives us an important voice to promote the compelling health and economic benefits of physiotherapy in Australia’s future preventive health initiatives.
  • We secured a meeting with the Chair of the Natural Therapies Advisory Panel where we will reiterate the strong evidence base for physiotherapy-led Pilates.
  • We sought support for working with individual private health insurers (PHIs) whose rigid interpretation of the rules around natural therapies has caused issues for physiotherapy practices. This must stop. 
  • More broadly, we raised with Minister Hunt our concerns around the increasing encroachment of PHI audits on physiotherapists’ clinical independence. Minister Hunt understood our concerns and we will be actively pursuing this further with the support of the Department.
  • We have been invited to participate in the small business listening tour in November, led by Shadow Minister Brendan O’Connor.
  • We committed to working with the Hon Bill Shorten, Shadow Minister for the NDIS, to remove barriers to physiotherapists working in the disability sector.
  • The Shadow Assistant for Aged Care Minister Ged Kearney invited the APA’s continued participation in developing new models of care to support residents of aged care facilities which are focused on prevention and reablement.

Access to physiotherapy in rural and remote areas was a strong theme across all meetings and there is growing desire to fund telehealth as a mechanism to improve access.

We will continue to build on key relationships and put forward proactive solutions to our most pressing policy concerns. This is part of our broader government relations strategy to educate, influence and collaborate with our most important stakeholders.