Physiotherapists now Recognised Diabetes Educators

By Petrina Smith
Friday, 05 December, 2014

Physiotherapists have been recognised as credentialled diabetes educators by the Australian Diabetes Educators Association.
The recognition comes after the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) applied to ADEA to change the current guidelines, enabling people living with type 2 diabetes to receive Medicare benefits for group physiotherapy exercises they attend – for five sessions per year under items 81100 to 81125. Previously only people receiving support from diabetes educators, dietitians and exercise physiologists could receive these claims.
The change now means physiotherapists can apply for accredited post-graduate certificate in diabetes education and management courses – something that wasn’t previously available to physiotherapists APA National President Marcus Dripps said.
“This is an excellent step forward for physiotherapists and their patients in an important health space we’ve been working in partnership with other allied health professionals for many years,” Mr Dripps said.
“Physiotherapists are a key part to managing the complex problem of diabetes which currently affects more than 1.7 million Australians. For individuals living with or at risk of this chronic disease, a physiotherapist can help identify and prescribe programs most suited to their condition and coordinate relevant intervention programs.
“With their training and experience in therapeutic exercise, behaviour change and a wide range of other related experience, physiotherapists are well placed to help identify, manage and prevent diabetes. This change will provide the appropriate rebates for patients, while delivering better care for their needs.”
This change coincides with other recent efforts from the APA to address chronic diseases in Australia. The APA recently became part of theNational Physical Activity Alliance, a group that can advise viable physical activity options that in time will contribute to reducing Australia's growing rate of chronic disease including diabetes.
It is also championing a community awareness campaign, “Australia’s Biggest Killer”, which aims to urges all Australians to get moving regularly throughout the day to address chronic diseases including type II diabetes and obesity prevention.
“We’re hoping many physiotherapists become credentialled diabetes educators to address this chronic condition. We’ll continue to work in a collaborative approach, where physiotherapists, diabetes educators, exercise physiologists, dietitians and pharmacists work together to address this condition.”
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia also recently announced pharmacists are now enabled to apply to become credentialled diabetes educators.
To find out more about how physiotherapists can qualify as a credentialled diabetes educator, visit

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