08 Sep 2023
Today is World Physiotherapy Day and this month presents a special opportunity to celebrate the important and unique work of Australia’s 42,098 registered physiotherapists.
With the focus for this year’s World Physiotherapy Day being on arthritis, it is a great chance to explore the care physiotherapists provide to those in the community experiencing conditions such as inflammatory pain.
People with arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, rely on expert physiotherapy to help manage their condition and improve their fitness, flexibility and strength. These practitioners not only help support flareups but also prevent them. They generally support a team of health professionals providing overall care.
The history of World Physiotherapy Day is about celebrating the unity and solidarity of the global physiotherapy community and the work physiotherapists do for their patients and the community.
‘We are celebrating the contribution this profession makes to improving health outcomes for so many Australians. Physiotherapists have skills and expertise to address these often unique or niche problems. Congratulations to all,’ Board Chair Kim Gibson said.
Despite a steady growth of physiotherapy registrants in Australia, with almost 7,000 new practitioners joining the profession in the past three years, there are several practitioners leaving the profession.
The Board recognises there may be many reasons for this and is keen to keep experienced practitioners engaged in the profession and understand how to better support those who are aging and continuing to practise.
‘Our data shows us that most physiotherapists are aged between 25 and 40.
‘The Board and the Australian Physiotherapy Association have collaborated on a research project that aims to better understand the attrition rates within the profession and gain insights into why physiotherapists are leaving the profession or moving into other roles or careers,’ Ms Gibson said.
‘It could be assumed that the physical nature of clinical roles may contribute to this however, many would benefit if the expertise and skills could continue to be used in the healthcare system.
‘We want these highly skilled practitioners to remain connected to the community. This is a challenge for the Board and one which we continue to work on with the association, education providers and governments.’