Vision for the future of physiotherapy practice in the public health system
The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has released InPublic 2025, an exciting project to assess the future trends of physiotherapy in Australian public healthcare services. The APA has partnered with Nous Group on this project and conducted the work between January and late March 2015. The report was launched at the APA’s Connect Conference in October 2015.
This builds on the success of our recent work with the private practice, InPractice 2025, to position the profession for future success.
We recognise that the public healthcare consists of a diverse and complex network of stakeholders who interact with the profession in varying degrees. We will consult widely across public health to develop an informed view of the profession’s future. We will also consult community care services, aged care services, disability care services and (to an extent) private hospitals to understand how the profession might evolve across settings.
This is a significant project which will influence APA’s strategic direction and support of the profession. As such, we wish to draw on the expertise of our practitioners to unearth insights about the profession’s future.
Find out more about the report
InPublic 2025: What will public physiotherapy services look like in 2025?
Public physiotherapy services span a broad range of care organisations and settings, ranging from Australia’s largest public hospitals to small remote health centres. More than one-third of physiotherapists are employed in the public health system, while a significant proportion of physiotherapy graduates continue to gain their first experience of clinical work in a public health service. Public physiotherapy services lead clinical teaching of physiotherapy students and clinical research. Nous estimates that public funding for public physiotherapy services in 2012-13 was approximately $480m, or 0.3% of the total health budget.
Building on the work of InPractice 20252, the APA commissioned the Nous Group (Nous) to conduct a complementary exploration of the future trends which will impact public physiotherapy services to answer the question, “What will the public physiotherapy Service of the Future look like in 2025?”
In commissioning this report the APA sought to:
- Provide insights to the profession and its key stakeholders to guide strategic and workforce planning.
- Inform future development and growth of the profession in the public health system.
- Shape APA’s activities and professional development programs to enable future growth of the profession.
The scope of this report focuses on physiotherapy in Australia’s public healthcare system (‘public physiotherapy’). We acknowledge the involvement of the InPublic 2025 Project Reference Group, the APA members, staff, Executive and Board, and all stakeholders who have generously contributed to the discussions and provided input to the development of the final report.
Key areas for consideration
- How might public physiotherapists deliver value differently to the health system over the next 10 years?
- Over the next ten years, which areas of public physiotherapy practice will grow? Which will decline? What new areas of practice will emerge?
- How will physiotherapy services be organised in relation to public health services of the future?
- What key partnerships will be important for the future success of public physiotherapists?
- What role might the private sector play in the future public physiotherapy services?
- What might the public physiotherapy workforce of the future look like? What skills (both clinical and non-clinical) will they need?
- How will the role of public physiotherapy in teaching, training and research change?