Allied health in the disability and aged services sectors
Allied health professionals provide important services to older Australians and people with disability to maximise their function and achieve their goals.
As the demand for allied health services grows across the aged care and disability services sectors, there are opportunities for allied health professionals and service providers to work across the two sectors. For example, a physiotherapist who helps older Australians to improve their physical function may also be suited to provide similar services to people with disability.
Allied health and the NDIS
For many National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, having access to allied health services is critical to achieving their health and life outcomes.
However, there is currently a shortage of allied health professionals working in the disability care sector. The National Disability Services’ (NDS) annual workforce survey reported consistent difficulty for service providers in recruiting allied health positions, in particular:
There is also demand for other allied health professions to provide NDIS services including: podiatrists, audiologists, dietitians, rehabilitation counsellors, and orthotists and prosthetists.
Factors contributing to the shortage of allied health professionals varies widely based on the location (especially in rural and remote areas) and supply of workers and service providers.
Opportunities for allied health professionals in the NDIS
Allied health professionals delivering supports under the NDIS have flexibility in choosing how they want to operate. They can deliver services in a clinic, home-based environment or in the community. The location and mode of service delivery will depend on a range of factors including participants' needs and goals, and the availability of appropriate resources and supports.
Organisations who register as an NDIS provider will be able to deliver services to NDIS participants regardless of how their plan is managed. Information for providers about registering under the NDIS can be found on the NDIS website.
Visit the NDIS Demand Map to see projected demand for NDIS services in your area.
Connect with a Boosting the Local Care Workforce Regional Coordinator to receive localised support and help in identifying opportunities in your area.
The NDS has a list of allied health related projects funded by the Australian Government's Sector Development Fund. Projects include tele-therapy, utilising allied health assistants, organisational online practice, learning hubs and more.
Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) provides more information and links to resources related to the allied health field.
Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) provides resources, supports and development opportunities for providers in rural and remote areas.