Occupational and Spatial Mobility of Rural Physiotherapists: insights for workforce development

Rob Porter, Adrian Schoo, Dean Carson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


There has been a persistent undersupply of physiotherapists in rural and remote Australia since at least the 1980s. Addressing this undersupply will require, along with increasing the number of physiotherapists educated in rural and remote areas, encouraging physiotherapists to migrate from urban to rural areas. Addressing undersupply will also require encouraging physiotherapists to remain in the profession while they are living in rural and remote Australia. The purpose of this paper is to provide a high level view of how these ‘mobilities’ of physiotherapists between 2006 and 2011 affected supply. Data from the 2011 Census are used to identify the characteristics of people who were qualified as physiotherapists but working in another occupation (‘exits’) and of practising
physiotherapists who had migrated to a rural or remote are between 2006 and 2011. The paper concludes that the rural and remote workforce is young and highly mobile, and that strategies are needed to encourage mid-career (35-49 years old) physiotherapists in particular to work in rural and remote areas.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event13th National Rural Health Conference -
Duration: 24 May 2015 → …


Conference13th National Rural Health Conference
Period24/05/15 → …


  • physiotherapists
  • rural
  • remote
  • workforce


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