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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health’s Chief Allied Health Professions Officer believes the sector will become even more crucial as New Zealand’s health care system evolves.

Thousands of allied health professionals are being celebrated today, as New Zealand marks World Allied Health Professionals day – a chance to celebrate the people working across the 43 professions that make up allied health in New Zealand.

Today’s also a chance to raise awareness of how these professions contribute to New Zealand’s health and disability sector.

“We have more than 30,000 hardworking professionals in this sector – it’s one of the largest collective professions in the health and disability sector. Every single day they’re on the frontline treating patients inside hospitals and in primary care and community settings,” says Dr Martin Chadwick.

“Every day working for and on behalf of the sector, I get a real sense of passion and dedication for our allied health professionals.

“Allied Health consists of a wide range of professionals with different experiences and skills. Sometimes, allied health professionals are the only healthcare providers that some patients will see for treatment.

“Since COVID-19 came on the scene, we’ve seen more demand for allied health services and we’ve seen these services having to adapt to meet demands in the face of changing alert levels,” says Dr Chadwick.

“We know as the future of healthcare evolves, the focus for patients will increasingly turn to healthcare settings in the community and in primary care, not in the hospital.

“The value of Allied Health is evident as professionals continue to provide services that prevent deterioration and hospital admissions, sustain your health and wellbeing, and maintain your independence.”

Earlier this year, the Ministry’s Chief Allied Health Professions office published Allied Health: Leading Digital and Data-Driven Health and Disability Services, to outline the role professionals will play in leading data and digital health and disability services.

“COVID-19 has seen a lot of our workforce working differently and under immense pressure, but we know Allied Health is perfectly positioned to maximise the health and wellbeing of people in New Zealand while also able to provide increasingly equitable services.