There are currently some 15,000 physiotherapists in Australia practicing in various areas, including in hospitals, sport and private practice.
According to a recent IbisWorld report, as people age, they are more likely to develop physical conditions which can be treated by a physiotherapist. With a growing and ageing population in Australia, physiotherapy services will likely become increasingly relevant.
Physiotherapy is recognised by government and private health insurers in Australia.
Physiotherapist Registration in Australia
Since 1 July 2009, registration of physiotherapists and physiotherapy students in Australia has been governed by a national registration and accreditation scheme. The scheme came into existence by virtue of nationally consistent legislation, the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (the National Law) as in force in each state and territory.
Under the National Law, the relevant National Board has the power to register physiotherapists and physiotherapy students from 2011. Therefore from 2011, students in various educational institutions including Physiotherapy Sydney, Physiotherapy Melbourne and Physiotherapy Brisbane courses will be registered via the Board.
There are industry associations representing physiotherapy in Australia. These include the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA).
The APA has some 70 staff, and over 300 members in volunteer positions on committees or working parties. The APA has representation in Australian states, including Physiotherapy Sydney, Physiotherapy Melbourne and Physiotherapy Brisbane based organisations.
There are various tertiary courses in Physiotherapy available in Australia including Physiotherapy Sydney training (eg University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney), Physiotherapy Melbourne training (eg Monash University, La Trobe University) and Physiotherapy Brisbane training (eg University of Queensland).
Individual students do not need to take steps to register with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia
All students who are currently registered will have automatically transitioned into the national scheme.
Students not currently registered will be registered automatically in March 2011.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will work with universities and other education providers to ensure all physiotherapy students are registered from March 2011.