The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has welcomed the Greens’ commitment to invest $2.8 billion to help Australians living with chronic conditions access physiotherapists and other allied health professionals.

The APA is keen to hear how other candidates will prioritise physiotherapy to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians.

It comes as the APA launches its ‘Physiotherapy is Not a Luxury’ awareness campaign, highlighting that physiotherapy continues to remain out of reach to many Australians who need it most, including people living with chronic conditions and those without private health insurance.

As part of the campaign the APA has released an Election Statement calling on the incoming government to prioritise physiotherapy through delivering on the following three key areas:

  • ensuring equitable access to physiotherapy
  • reducing unnecessary hospitalisation
  • scaling up physiotherapy-led injury prevention

APA National President Marcus Dripps said the organisation continues to remain cross-partisan, focusing on achieving optimal health outcomes for patients.

'Physiotherapy is vital for the health and wellbeing of the Australian community. It enables countless Australians to have quality of life,' Mr Dripps said.

'Yet despite the evidence, physiotherapy is treated as a luxury item. Many Australians are missing out on safe, high-quality physiotherapy – this includes those living in rural and remote locations where there is limited access to services, or those who have ended up in surgery from a condition like osteoarthritis because they don’t have access to physiotherapy-led prevention services.

'It’s time all candidates prioritise physiotherapy to improve health outcomes and make Australia’s healthcare system first class, as it should be. We’re committed to working with all parties to develop policies to support good health for all Australians.' 

While the APA recognises there are a broad number of initiatives needed to achieve equitable access to physiotherapy, the APA has detailed the following recommendations in its Election Statement:

  • enabling referrals to specialists
  • improving chronic disease physiotherapy support
  • improving rural physiotherapy services
  • investing in physiotherapy to prevent hospitalisation 
  • improving physiotherapy access to health systems
  • investing in physiotherapy for prevention and health and wellbeing

'These sensible, evidence-based initiatives are of relatively low cost compared to the substantial benefit they will bring to Australia,' Mr Dripps said.