No stone unturned

No stone unturned

No stone unturned

No stone unturned

Happy New Year. I hope that 2024 will be a healthy, fulfilling, safe and fun year, after three very difficult ones, and that everyone has had the opportunity to rest, to reconnect with loved ones and to gear up again.

I can assure you that here at the APA, we won’t slow down in 2024, especially in our advocacy and in the political arena. 

We will continue to follow our strategic blueprint, working towards our vision of a future in which all Australians have access to quality physiotherapy.

To kickstart the year off, we will be releasing our federal pre-Budget submission, which consistently argues
for taking evidence-led opportunities for system-wide reform—reform that improves value in healthcare and that drives a better patient and consumer journey, along with sustainable models of care for physiotherapists and better health outcomes for all Australians. 

This includes direct referrals to specialists, imaging rights on par with GPs, funded first contact physiotherapy, full scope of practice provisions for physiotherapists, alternate models of care in prevention and service delivery, multidisciplinary teams in primary healthcare, sustainable remuneration for all publicly funded physiotherapy and recognition of the full value of care provided by physiotherapists, from students to graduates and specialists.

This year we also anticipate the release of the federal government’s scope of practice review report, to which the APA has been a significant contributor. 

We have been very vocal about why this is so important to the healthcare system and about how it plays into the work of the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce implementation oversight committee and the future system changes that will be required for genuine health reform. 

The report is an opportunity to demonstrate the full value that physiotherapists provide in service provision
to Australians, at every stage of our careers and throughout the life spans of our patients.

Another significant project for 2024 will be our ongoing efforts to evaluate and accrue insight into current workforce pressures and into opportunities and levers for the future of this great profession. 

The results of the APA’s 2023 Workforce Census, along with the work we are doing with some other external stakeholders, will allow us to begin to comprehensively quantify and document what we are all experiencing on the ground in every area of physiotherapy.

I remain hopeful that this will lead the federal government to realise that we need to collect significant allied health workforce data and use it to create a workplace strategy.

I welcome Catherine Willis, our newest non-executive board member for 2024, to the APA Board of Directors. The energy that Cath will bring to the current Board of Directors, along with a different skill set, will increase the scope of our oversight and vision. 

I look forward to seeing her in action on the board and to the positive contributions she will make to the profession and the organisation.

This will be my last year as national president of the APA and I intend it to be a productive one, driven by the pursuit of positive outcomes. 

We have laid significant foundations for the future and we need to continue to advocate for them over the coming 12 months. 

An important part of that is helping our health and political leaders to visualise the significant benefits that physiotherapy can bring to the wider health system.

My energy, passion and drive are undiminished and I can guarantee that I will not leave a stone unturned in my quest to make sure that every Australian has access to quality physiotherapy.

Take care, stay safe.

>>Scott Willis APAM APA National President

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