Don’t blame physios for the lack of allied health

Death of allied health in aged care


Death of allied health in aged care

Sydney Morning herald Dana Daniels article – government targets aged care over servicing by physiotherapists overservicing

Physios are NOT to blame for allied health not being funded

The Sydney Morning Herald published today an article headlined “government targets aged care “over-servicing” by physiotherapists” , from journalist Dana Daniels , outlined a concerning picture of the government blaming physiotherapists as the sole reason they have decided to stop funding for all physiotherapy and allied health after October 2022. Source

In Ms Daniel’s article the Department of Health justifies a new system of funding after October that doesn’t include separate allied health funding. “This removes the risk of perverse incentives to deliver treatments that are not clinically appropriate in order to maximise funding, such as providing massages for residents with paper-thin skin,” it said.

Lead physiotherapist and CEO AAC Health Group including AAC Allied Aged Care and founder of the Campaign to Stop the #deathofalliedhealth Alwyn Blayse says “This statement is an ABSOLUTE INSULT to the many hard working and ethical physiotherapists in aged care past and present. It is also an insult to good nursing homes out there, accusing them of being a party to unethical practice. Other health professionals such as occupational therapists and exercise physiologist are simply ignored in this statement. They are lumping all allied health as “physios” and using an untrue argument to justify not just the lack of funding for physios, but not funding ANY allied health”.

“This is a textbook definition of gas-lighting. Physios (and other allied health doing the massages) are only doing massages because the Morrison government and Department of Health mandate that they do so in the current funding model guide. The government created this perverse system and are still actively enforcing the rules they created. This means that allied health can’t do the evidence-based intervention they are trained and want to do, such as exercise. If the system is being exploited, then its only because the government ignored all who have been calling for years for the ACFI to be changed to allow any other interventions other than massage. “ (ACFI user guide page 39).

Allied Health professionals have been offended by the statement that treatment is provided with an implication that its only provided for financial gain and could damage skin of frail residents.

“No allied health professional I’ve ever worked with, or have heard of, would massage a resident with paper-thin skin, regardless of “incentives”. Several Physios and OTs I’ve spoken to today are very upset by this statement tarring us all with the same brush. We don’t work in aged care for the money. It’s hard but we turn up, even during COVID and floods, because we care and love our clients and do the best we can. “Alwyn says (sources available upon request)

The need for allied health services for the aged to be included in nursing home models is well established and on public record in statements and submissions from professional and medical associations, community feedback, research by government agencies, authors of the new funding model (AN-ACC) Anita Westera and Professor Kathy Eagars as well the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (01 March 2021).

The lack of allied health in nursing homes from October may affect the entire health system, with Nursing Home residents prone to more falls, pressure injuries, as well as an increase of pain medication and associated side effects.

This may lead to more (previously) preventable hospital admissions and deaths, causing more stress and cost to the resident, families, nurses and nursing homes and our hospital system, as well as taxpayers.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Final Report: Care, Dignity and Respect (1st March 2021) states that Allied health care in residential aged care, which is 8 minutes a resident per a day, is insufficient and recommends more time for residents, not less.

“How can it be then, that the government is saying that physios are over-servicing, when the Royal Commission says that current allied health minutes of 8 minutes a day are inadequate and more is needed? Its particularly rich to say this when the government agreed to this recommendation for more allied health in their response to the Royal Commission.” asks Mr. Blayse. (source -recommendation 38 page 33)

AAC Health Group including AAC Allied Aged Care is calling for separate, dedicated funding for physiotherapy and other allied health professionals in nursing home facilities, ensuring residents receive at least 20 minutes per day after October 2022. Nearly 19,000 people have signed a petition on change to be lodged at the senate (source)

For more information visit:


Lead physiotherapist and CEO AAC Health Group including AAC Allied Aged Care, Alwyn Blayse is available for further comment.

Please contact: Operations Manager Marie-Louise Willis

Tel: 1300 574 462

If you need any further assistance, please email


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