An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report on the employment profile of allied health professions has found that more women than men work in most areas.
allied health jobs
The report, Allied Health Workforce 2012, provides information on the demographic and employment characteristics of 11 allied health professions: occupational therapists, medical radiation practitioners, optometrists, chiropractors, Chinese medicine practitioners, podiatrists, osteopaths and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners.
Spokesperson for AIHW, Adrian Webster said it was the first report on allied health practitioners since the introduction of the new National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for these professions.
“It shows around 127,000 allied health practitioners were registered in 2012, with women making up more of these practitioners than men,” Dr Webster said.
“More women than men were employed in nine of the 11 professions, the exceptions being chiropractors and optometrists.”
The report found that almost nine in 10 occupational therapists were women, and women accounted for eight in 10 employed psychologists. Seven in 10 physiotherapists and six in 10 pharmacists were also women.
In addition, nearly two-thirds of all registered allied health practitioners in Australia are psychologists, pharmacists or physiotherapists.
Psychologists made up the largest proportion of registered allied health practitioners (23 per cent), followed by pharmacists (21 per cent), physiotherapists (19 per cent) and occupational therapists (11 per cent).
The full-time equivalent (FTE) rate of employed practitioners per 100,000 population rose slightly between 2011 and 2012 for all professions except optometrists, where the rate was steady.
The report also showed that the average employed allied health professional was aged between 37 and 47, and had a working week varying from about 32 hours for Chinese medicine practitioners to 40 hours for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners.
Dr Webster said there were 265 registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health practitioners in 2012, 127 of whom worked in Aboriginal health services.
Edition 378, 10 September 2013