Australia is suffering from a dire shortage of frontline physiotherapists in much needed locations, according to a report by the Australian Physiotherapy Association. As per usual the communities that go without are mostly First Nations. Independent groups are doing something about this.
The Back In Motion Health Group, founded by physiotherapist Jason Smith, is trying to correct the imbalance. Earlier in August they launched the permanent physiotherapy clinic in Palm Island – the only clinic for the island’s population of 3,000. Mr Smith said that remote and regional communities throughout the nation have to live with pain that physiotherapy and allied health services could relieve but they have no access to these services.
On September 2nd the Back in Motion Health Group will donate hundreds of hours of physiotherapy to impoverished communities as part of Work for Significance Day.
“Some regional areas have less than 34 therapists for every 100,000 people yet they have greater health challenges than those living in metro areas,” said Mr Smith.
“One in eight Australians lives below the poverty line and many people simply cannot afford physiotherapy. Unfortunately, people are forced to live with chronic pain and illness without the health giving benefits of physiotherapy.”
Mr Smith praised the many physiotherapists who jumped on board to volunteer their time for Work for Significance Day and said that his organisation “believes everyone should have access to the benefits of physiotherapy.” He said that last year his organisation donated 526 hours of physiotherapy to these communities.
“It’s a great feeling to provide real relief to people that need real help.”
The September 2nd event will also be a fundraiser and last year raised $71,000 which went to much needed projects.
“These funds also mobilise physiotherapists and other volunteers to take part in outreach missions in Palm Island and rural areas of Australia such as North East Arnhem Land.”
“The Foundation has been given approval to open a permanent physiotherapy clinic on Palm Island, a remote Aboriginal community of 3,000 in Queensland offering physiotherapy, Pilates group classes, sports physio, nutrition and exercise plans as well as trained health workers.”
“And, late August, a second pro-bono clinic was opened in Brisbane city,” said Mr Smith.