Physiotherapy form to be released in Australia: AAP
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has released a formal statement about its policy towards the use of physiotherapy in Australia, including a new form of physiotherapies called physiotherapy-assisted therapy (PAATS).
This is the first time the AMA has publicly discussed its position on PAATS, and the AAP’s response to the AMA’s position on this topic was widely seen as a slap in the face for many members.”PAATS is a form of medical treatment that uses your body as a tool in the recovery process, with the aim of providing support to patients with chronic pain and related conditions,” the AMA said in a statement.
“In Australia, the Australian Government has recognised that PAATS is an effective and safe treatment option, and its implementation in public hospitals is supported by the AMA.”
The AMA’s statement goes on to explain that PAETS are not a replacement for physiotherapy, but rather a complementary therapy option that “provides physiotherapy support to individuals who have suffered from a chronic pain condition and want to improve their physical and mental health”.
“However, PAATS has been used in a range of settings in Australia and the world, including emergency departments and general practices,” the statement continued.
“For the first two weeks of its rollout, it will be available to all patients with a chronic condition, regardless of their health status.”
The Australian Medical Research Council (AMARC) has also expressed its support for PAATS.
“Physiotherapy is one of the most effective methods of treatment for chronic pain,” AMARC said in its statement, adding that it is a safe and effective form of therapy for people with chronic conditions.
“This is why, as a national body, we are excited to see that Australia is one step closer to becoming a world leader in using PAATS to provide physiotherapy to patients.”
The AAP’s position against PAATS was backed by the Australian College of General Practitioners (ACGP).
“Physicians should be able to use PAATS if it is indicated by the clinician, and PAATS can be used safely and effectively if the patient is in a pain-free state,” ACGP chair Dr Chris Jackson said in his statement.
“While we recognize that physiotherapy is not for everyone, we do support the AMARC’s stance, which is consistent with our clinical practice.”
The ACGP statement continued: “In the absence of a specific medical indication, physiotherapy should be used as a non-invasive and appropriate way to help people with pain.”
The position is not entirely out of line with the AMA, as the AMA is the biggest medical body in the world and has a vast range of experience in the field of physiologic therapies.
But it’s not a surprise to see the AMA backing away from its stance on PAETS, especially as it’s one of its own members who is also advocating for it.