How Allied Health is Changing in Australia
From nursing and aged care to physiotherapy and medical imaging, a wide range of professions make up the allied health sector in Australia. The industry is growing rapidly, offering increased job opportunities to graduates of allied health courses.
If you’re considering a career in this area, learn how allied health jobs are evolving and the potential impact any changes could have on your employment prospects.
Aged care has become a top priority in allied health due to Australia’s ageing population. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare predicts that by 2047, the number of people aged over 65 in Australia will reach 3.3 million. As more people grow older, the aged care workforce will face increased pressure to keep up.
Due to this shift in demographics, there’s expected to be a sharp rise in the following aged care services:
- Preventative care – Preventing instances of chronic illnesses and injuries
- Rehabilitative care – Helping people regain function following a serious injury or illness
- Independent living – Supporting people to remain in their home
- Respite care – Providing short-term care.
Aged care workers with expertise in these areas will be among the most in-demand professionals in allied health in Australia.
Increased rates of chronic disease are changing the face of allied health. Some of the most common chronic illnesses include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mental illness. As the top contributors to poor health and death in Australia, the prevention and management of these conditions is a high priority for allied health workers.
The often complex causes for chronic diseases mean allied health workers across a wide range of specialisations have a part to play. Whether it’s a nutritionist educating people on how to eat healthy, or a psychologist offering mental health interventions, all allied health workers can contribute to the fight against chronic diseases.
Some areas of allied health are facing a critical shortage of skilled workers. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Labour Market Research report from 2017 – 2018 found that the proportion of healthcare vacancies filled was at its lowest level since the 2009 – 2010 period and that the average number of suitable applicants per vacancy was at a similarly low level. Skilled sonographers, radiographers and optometrists were identified as being particularly hard to find.
Despite the challenges associated with this skills shortage, it also presents opportunities to aspiring allied health professionals. With so many vacancies to be filled, qualified workers will enjoy excellent job security.
No matter which area of allied health you want to specialise in, you can be sure of this industry’s promising future. Make the most of increased demand by getting qualified with Foundation Education’s allied health courses. Our HLT33015 Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance will prepare you to work in a range of healthcare settings alongside allied health professionals.
Learn more about the allied health industry by reading our article What Is Allied Health?