To celebrate World Physiotherapy Day (World PT Day) today, the Physiotherapy Board of Australia (the Board) and the Australian Physiotherapy Council (the Council) are celebrating the critical work physiotherapists are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The key focus for this year’s World Physiotherapy Day is the profession’s response to the pandemic.

Dave Chats with Board Chair Kim Gibson congratulates all (more than 35,000) of Australia’s registered physiotherapists for the positive work they are doing in the current circumstances.

‘There has been no bigger pressure on practitioners than during this COVID-19 pandemic. From the provision of respiratory care in the acute hospital setting, to the introduction of telehealth to enforcing social distancing, diligent infection control procedures and adapting their role to directly support health services manage the community pandemic response, physiotherapists have demonstrated their key role in the health workforce,’ Ms Gibson said.

The Board has worked continuously to modify its regulatory approach to support the profession through the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining patient safety.

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Since March, the Board has made a series of pragmatic decisions to temporarily modify regulatory requirements. These changes include taking a more flexible approach to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements and the release of a new set of National principles for clinical education through COVID-19 to support students to continue their studies and graduate through COVID-19.

Another significant development is the inclusion of physiotherapy among a small number of priority health professions on the pandemic sub-register. On 20 April 2020, physiotherapists who have held registration in the past three years were added to the sub-register and those with capacity to help were encouraged to return to practice.

Council CEO Anton Barnett-Harris said: ‘The Council consider it a privilege to partner and collaborate with the Board, continuing to champion the physiotherapy profession making an invaluable contribution to Australia’s healthcare system, as our communities respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council is working closely with the university sector to ensure that Australia continues to educate world leading practitioners who are ready for all the health circumstances of today and the future.’

‘Given the current circumstances and the additional pressure on practitioners, World Physiotherapy Day 2020 is also an important reminder to take time for selfcare,’ Ms Gibson sa