A year of healing and growing

An enormous, spreading tree with bright green foliage seen from underneath.

A year of healing and growing

An enormous, spreading tree with bright green foliage seen from underneath.

In the midst of challenges, there have been a number of positive developments for the health sector, from greater resources for mental health to amendments to the National Law recognising the importance of cultural safety.

The Physiotherapy Board of Australia wishes all physiotherapists a safe and happy festive season and all the best for 2023.

We know that 2022 has been a challenging time for physiotherapists and health professionals generally as we all strive to get back to business as usual after the COVID-19 disruptions of the past few years.

The Board acknowledges the ongoing workforce issues within the profession and healthcare generally.

Ahpra and the National Boards are committed to prioritising strategies to focus on this.

We hope you will take time over the busy Christmas and New Year period to take care of yourselves and to check in with colleagues who may be doing it tough.

The Essential Network for Health Professionals has excellent resources for identifying and managing burnout and maintaining good mental health.

Alongside the challenges of 2022, we have witnessed many positive outcomes for the health sector, including changes to the laws and guidelines that govern health practitioners in Australia, which will improve public safety and strengthen confidence in health professions, including physiotherapy.

National Law amendments putting even greater focus on public safety

In October, we witnessed the widest ranging reform to health practitioner regulation since the National Scheme was established in 2010.

The legal changes include recognising cultural safety as a guiding principle and objective of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and strengthened powers for Ahpra and the National Boards, while maintaining fairness for practitioners.

We encourage all physiotherapists to become familiar with the law changes and how they relate to the profession and individuals’ practice. Click here to find out more. 

Celebrating physiotherapists across Australia

In celebration of World Physiotherapy Day on 8 September, a special episode of the podcast Taking Care explored the broad and varied work of physiotherapists in different settings.

We learnt about innovations in remote and self-managed care and three physiotherapists discussed the flow-on benefits of preventive care for the wider health system.

Physiotherapist prescribing

In July, the Board met with a small group of stakeholders to further discuss non-medical prescribing and how this relates to physiotherapy.

We will continue to communicate to the profession the outcomes of this forum and any other developments on this topic, including via our website.

New code of conduct

The revised Code of conduct for physiotherapists came into effect on 29 June.

The code gives important guidance to practitioners about the Board’s expectations and the standard of conduct the public can expect from physiotherapists.

To support you in understanding and applying the code, we have developed a range of resources.

A growing profession

As of 30 June, there were 40,018 registered physiotherapists in Australia.

That is an increase of 6.3 per cent from 2020/21.

Physiotherapists make up 4.7 per cent of all registered health practitioners in Australia.

Fewer than one per cent of physiotherapists identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Most physiotherapists (64.7 per cent) are female.

Welcome to new graduates

To all recent physiotherapy graduates and those who are about to graduate, the Board congratulates you and wishes you well as you embark on your career, be it in private or public practice, research, teaching or regulation.

Physiotherapy is a highly rewarding career and the profession collectively contributes enormously to the health and wellbeing of the Australian community.

Once again, we extend best wishes to all physiotherapists and say thank you for your efforts in caring for the health and wellbeing of Australians.

We look forward to communicating with you throughout 2023.

Kim Gibson, Chair, Physiotherapy Board of Australia


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