Podiatry and physiotherapy labour force update

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released two reports about important segments of the allied health labour force in Australia - podiatrists and physiotherapists.

Drawing from a number of sources, including AIHW surveys, figures from the professions' registration boards, and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) labour force and census data, these reports describe various aspects of the two professions including some demographic and work characteristics of people employed in the podiatry and physiotherapy professions.

Some of the findings from the Physiotherapy labour force 2002 report were:

  • In 2002 there were 15,967 registered physiotherapists in Australia, representing an increase of 11% from registrations in 1998 (14,399), (excluding the Northern Territory, where registration figures were not available in either year).
  • Some 80% of the physiotherapists responding to the AIHW survey were working in the profession.
  • Most employed physiotherapists in the survey (92%) were in clinical work, involved in direct patient care.
  • Around three-quarters of employed physiotherapists in the survey were female.

Findings from Podiatry labour force 2003 include:

  • In 2003 there were 2,361 registered podiatrists in Australia, representing an increase of 15% from registrations in 1999 (2,048), (excluding the Northern Territory, where registration figures were not available in either year).
  • Over 90% of the AIHW survey respondents were working in the profession.
  • Most employed podiatrists in the survey (96%) were in clinical work, involved in direct patient care.
  • Just under two-thirds of the employed podiatrists in the survey were female.

Ms Glenice Taylor, Head of the AIHW's Labour Force Unit said the reports follow two others released recently about the allied health professions of psychologists and occupational therapists. She added that 'The AIHW is keen to do further work in the area of allied health.'

10 August 2006

Further information: Glenice Taylor, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1153, mob. 0418 271 395

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. 61 2 6244 1032.