Occupational and spatial mobility of rural physiotherapists: Insights for workforce development

Robert Quentin Porter, Adrian Schoo, Dean Carson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


    There has been a persistent undersupply of physiotherapists in rural and remote Australia since at least the 1980s. Addressing this undersupply will require, along with increasing the number of physiotherapists educated in rural and remote areas, encouraging physiotherapists to migrate from urban to rural areas. Addressing undersupply will also require encouraging physiotherapists to remain in the profession while they are living in rural and remote Australia. The purpose of this paper is to provide a high level view of how these ‘mobilities’ of physiotherapists between 2006 and 2011 affected supply. Data from the 2011 Census are used to identify the characteristics of people who were qualified as physiotherapists but working in another occupation (‘exits’) and of practising physiotherapists who had migrated to a rural or remote are between 2006 and 2011. The paper concludes that the rural and remote workforce is young and highly mobile, and that strategies are needed to encourage mid-career (35-49 years old) physiotherapists in particular to work in rural and remote areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th National Rural Health Conference
    Place of PublicationOnline
    PublisherNational Rural Health Alliance
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventNational Rural Health Conference (NRHC 2015 13th) - Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin, Australia
    Duration: 24 May 201527 May 2015
    Conference number: 2015 (13th)


    ConferenceNational Rural Health Conference (NRHC 2015 13th)
    Abbreviated titleNRHC


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