Clinical Care Threatened by Education Expense Reforms

By Ryan Mccann
Wednesday, 24 April, 2013

Tax deductions for work-related self-education expenses will be limited to $2000 per person from 1 July 2014 under reforms recently announced by the Federal Government.
According to the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) this could impact the quality of care for Australian patients and will be a disincentive for health professionals to keep up to date with practice.
Registered physiotherapists are required to undertake at least 20 hours of professional development every year. APA president Marcus Dripps says: “A fundamental aspect of any profession is to embrace lifelong learning; this decision impacts on this. “The reforms will affect the public, as we will have few physiotherapists with postgraduate training. This could negatively impact the quality of care being provided in the community, and the quality of life for many Australians.”
ANZCA president Dr Lindy Roberts says courses attended by doctors are critical to ensure they keep up to date to deliver safe and high quality care for the community.
“We are disappointed that the Government has elected to fund other commitments at the expense of such an important resource – the health of the nation,” Dr Roberts says. “This will have a major impact on anaesthetists, especially those in rural and remote areas, who already face significant out-of-pocket expenses to maintain their skills to the standard that is expected of Australian practitioners.”

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