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Allied health professionals

Allied health professionals
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Allied health

You might have come across the term ‘allied health’, or ‘allied health professional’. But who are these people and what do they do? Knowing about the allied healthcare services, and how they might help, can make a lot of difference to your health.

What are allied healthcare professionals?

Allied health practitioners are trained professionals who are not doctors, dentists or nurses.

They can help you manage your physical or mental health, through services that include diagnosis, treatment or rehabilitation.

Allied health practitioners include:

  • psychologists
  • physiotherapists
  • social workers
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners
  • occupational therapists
  • medical radiation practitioners
  • chiropractors
  • podiatrists
  • osteopaths
  • Chinese medicine practitioners

How do I know which allied health professional is right for my care needs?

Your doctor can help you decide if an allied health service is right for you. Try to be open and honest about your needs.

You can also ask your allied health practitioner questions such as:

  • What are the best options for me?
  • How long will I need to see you until things get better?
  • How much will my treatment cost?
  • What are your qualifications?
  • Will you let my doctor know what is happening here?

Once you’ve been for the first visit, you can decide whether or not they understand the reason you are there. And whether or not they can help you in a way that suits you.

How do I find an allied health professional?

Your doctor can refer you. You can talk to your family and friends.

The National Health Services Directory lists allied health professionals and other health services.

Almost all allied health practitioners must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency to practise in Australia.

What can I expect when I visit an allied health professional?

They will ask you questions about your health and might examine you.

Your treatment will depend on your healthcare needs and your way of life.

Take along a notebook with your questions, your symptoms, other treatments you have had, and medications you are taking.

Costs and allied health services under Medicare

Medicare does not usually cover visits to allied health professionals. However, if you have a long-term health condition, you might be eligible for Medicare rebates.

For you to get Medicare rebates, your doctor must prepare a ‘care plan’, such as a chronic disease management plan or a mental health treatment plan.

Some private health funds may cover certain allied health services.

Ask about fees before you make your appointment.

Last reviewed: February 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 301 results

Allied Health and Palliative Care

The allied health profession is essential to palliative care. See the page About Allied Health, on the Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) website for a definition of the allied health workforce and other information.

Read more on CareSearch website

Chronic Disease Management allied health individual services

Information on the individual allied health services available to patients with a chronic condition and/or complex care needs, on referral from a GP

Read more on Department of Health website

Roles of Allied Health Professionals

The Allied Health Hub aims to provide information for and about some of the many disciplines that are involved in palliative care.

Read more on CareSearch website

Clinical and Education Resources

Clinical and Education resources for allied health professionals including the AlliedHealth[Hub]news, Allied Health views, Podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, testimonials and stories from the field and Allied Health Hub promotional resources.

Read more on CareSearch website

Disease Specific

The following resources highlight the role of Allied health Professionals in different diseases or symptoms

Read more on CareSearch website

Allied Health Professionals Research Projects

Mental health social workers and palliative and end-of-life care. The concerns of social work, both broadly and in the field of palliative and end-of-life care, include issues of individual personality, vulnerability and resilience, family functioning, personal relationships, strengths and stressors, support networks, culture, community, class, ethnicity and gender.

Read more on CareSearch website

Information for Patients, Carers and Families

Allied health practitioners are trained health professionals. They may work as part of your healthcare team. Allied health professionals include dietitians, occupational therapists, social workers or speech pathologists. Allied health professionals bring many different skills to the care team. This may be a physiotherapist who can help you with activities and how to 'get around'. It could also be a psychologist who you can talk to about your feelings and emotions.

Read more on CareSearch website

When a Patient Dies

Allied health professionals develop relationships with patients, their carers and families, sometimes over many years. At other times interactions with those at the end-of-life can be over a shorter period of time but can become quite intense.There will come a time when an allied health professional's involvement with a patient comes to an end. Closing cases because the patient dies or transferring a patient's care to colleagues is not unusual in allied health roles.

Read more on CareSearch website

Chronic Disease Management Plan

People with a chronic medical condition may be able to get Medicare benefits to cover allied health services that help manage their condition.

Read more on Medicare website

Professional Considerations

Each allied health professional has to consider many things to meet the requirements of their professional or registration bodies.

Read more on CareSearch website

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