South Australian Elections
Get involved in action for positive change
The 2022 South Australian state election will take place on 19 March 2022.
This is not only a chance for you to vote for your preferred member as a South Australian resident, but also a chance to make a real difference to the support of exercise physiology in your state.
ESSA will be undertaking extensive advocacy until the elections, however, with more voices comes more power. Therefore, we are asking you to play a part!
How can you get involved?
Four key items ESSA wants action on:
1. Increase access to quality exercise physiology services for people injured through work by reinforcing capacity to practice and parity with other allied health professionals in the South Australian workers compensation scheme.
The hourly remuneration for exercise physiology is lower than all other allied health professions, creating a hierarchy where one professional group is considered of lower value in delivering clinical interventions.
Allied health providers including chiropractic, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, and speech therapy are remunerated at the same hourly rate, which is 20% higher than the rate for exercise physiology.
Exercise physiologists are underutilised in the scheme and have the skills and knowledge to do more to support injured workers to get back to work.
What ESSA wants:
Increase access to quality exercise physiology services for people injured through work by:
Provision of fair and reasonable remuneration for exercise physiologists in line with other allied health professionals.
Introduction of item codes to the exercise physiology schedule for 1. Assessments of Activities of Daily Living and 2. Worksite visits.
2. Increased recognition of disciplines in the allied health workforce including exercise physiology to assist in planning and delivery of health outcomes for South Australians.
The Health Practitioner Regulation Law (South Australia) Act 2010 currently only recognises those professions registered through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). This piece of legislation is inconsistent with national standards in recognising the important contribution to health service delivery is by all health professionals, including Accredited Exercise Physiologists.
What ESSA wants:
Amend the Health Practitioner Regulation Law (South Australia) Act 2010 to recognise health professions that are regulated by other means including health professions that are members of the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions.
3. Recognition of allied health professions in the health and fitness industry code to eliminate confusion and ensure that barriers are not in place to limit access to treatment.
The current Fair Trading (Health and Fitness Industry Code of Practice) Regulations 2007 for South Australia, focuses on the fitness industry rather than the provision of healthcare services. As an allied health profession, the inclusion of exercise physiology under this code is misaligned with the professions’ role in providing essential health care aimed at keeping people well and out of hospital.
In contrast, physiotherapy, another body of the allied health profession, also provide evidence-based exercise intervention within health and uses fitness facilities outlined in the code, have been made exempt. The exemption of only physiotherapy creates a disparity in allied health service provision.
Exercise physiology should be represented in the Health and Fitness Industry Code in the same way that physiotherapy is represented, to eliminate barriers to access to clinical exercise treatment.
What ESSA wants:
South Australia Fair Trading (Health and Fitness Industry Code) Regulations 2007 Version: 22.3.2012 under Schedule 1—Health and Fitness Industry Code, to exempt all AHPRA and self-regulated allied health professions as recognised by the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions.
4. Improving the capacity of the public health system to respond to patient need for exercise physiology by planning for future workforce, including the establishment of career pathways.
Despite an increase in AEPs working in the public health system in South Australia, there are challenges with demand for exercise physiology services outstripping supply within the system. Unlike other allied health professions there is a lack of positions at a variety of levels to support patient care, including graduate level. There is also a lack of AEPs in more senior levels resulting in AEPs being overlooked when it comes to workforce planning, as they are not engaged at the decision-making level in the system.
What ESSA wants:
- Funding a minimum of 6 graduate level positions for exercise physiology on an annual basis.
- Creating a discipline specific lead for exercise physiology in each of the metropolitan local health networks, i.e., 3 positions.
How can I learn more about advocacy?
ESSA has learning activities that will help to build your knowledge and confidence to engage in advocacy. They are free to ESSA members:
ESSA Advocacy Introductory Engagement Session Recording
ESSA Engaging with Policy and Decision Makers Recording