Chronic pain affects one in five Australians, rising to one in three for those aged over 651. Its impact on individuals, families and the wider community can’t be overestimated. During National Pain Week (22-28 July) the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) is calling on the federal government to properly fund evidenced based treatments like physiotherapy that support the complex multidisciplinary care requirements of people living with this debilitating condition.
Patients’ health and wellbeing is being put at risk by the federal government’s refusal to enact protection of the word ‘physio’, which can be – and frequently is – used by non-physiotherapist practitioners.
While AHPRA's crackdown on the misleading use of health practitioners' "protected titles" by untrained or inappropriately trained individuals has been widely lauded, it seems one speciality has slipped through the net.
Last November the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) called on the Federal Government to protect the title ‘physio’ in line with the protected status of ‘physiotherapist’ and ‘physiotherapy’, giving the public assurance that any practitioners using these titles are fully qualified, registered physiotherapists using evidence-informed treatments. This issue is now more pressing than ever, following the announcement by AHPRA that tougher sanctions have come into force for people falsely claiming to be a registered health practitioner.
Early access to specialist lymphedema physiotherapy treatment should be funded by the government, according to the Australian Physiotherapy Association, who joined the Australian Lymphology Association in calling for change.
The launch of the National Strategic Action Plan for Arthritis this week outlines a clear pathway to implement affordable, timely access to services - including properly funded physiotherapy treatment - to support the four million Australians who live with arthritis, the leading cause of chronic pain in Australia.
Allied health professionals certified with limited registration from their professional body are eligible to provide complex pain management services in residential aged care, the Department of Health has ruled.