Media Statement: Physiotherapists ready and willing to help ease current GP crisis


23 November 2022

Physiotherapists ready and willing to help ease current GP crisis

Physiotherapy New Zealand say they have a workforce ready and willing to step in and help ease the current “soul destroying” GP crisis in Aotearoa.

President Mark Quinn says physiotherapists have the skill set to assist New Zealanders experiencing musculoskeletal conditions such as joint, bone and muscle injuries which would ease the workload currently overwhelming our GPs and their practices.

“Health Minister Andrew Little talks about the need to call on the whole of the health workforce to alleviate the pressure on the system. The fact is we have been telling him for months now that physiotherapists are here, and we want to help.

“There is so much evidence at the ministry’s disposal that shows that greater use of physiotherapy in primary care can help cut surgery wait times, reduce costs and achieve better health outcomes for all New Zealanders. Let us help.”

Mark Quinn says in order for the government to start utilising physiotherapists to assist with the current crisis they must take action and increase much needed funding for physiotherapists working in primary care.

“Another action the government can implement now is getting ACC to allow physios to sign off-work certificates for patients. We currently can do medical certificates but not for ACC income related payments. This would help ease the bottleneck and clear the backlog and wait times.

“Physiotherapists along with a number of other allied health professionals are an important tool in the health workforce toolbox. Fund us and utilise us now to our full potential and we can help ease the current pressure on the system before it gets worse,” said Mark Quinn.

“Up to a quarter of all GP consultations are musculoskeletal complaints. Physiotherapists have specialised training in this area so if funded appropriately, we can significantly offload GP’s but also reduce the significant inequities that are occurring because of this lack of funding.”


Page updated November 2022