Rehabilitative care

Rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process after surgery or significant injury. Rehabilitation has a whole of person approach that aims to achieve the highest possible level of function, maximise quality of life and minimise the need for ongoing health and community support.

Rehabilitation aims to restore function across physical, psychological, social and vocational domains. Allied health professionals play essential roles in delivering cost-effective rehabilitation services.

Allied health and rehabilitative care

A wide range of allied health professions, generally working in multi-disciplinary teams, are involved in the delivery of rehabilitation services. Some allied health professionals undertake advanced training to become specialists in a particular aspect of rehabilitation.

An allied health rehabilitation team may include the following:

Common areas of work

Allied health professionals provide rehabilitation services in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and increasingly in the home, or other community settings. Allied health practitioners working in private practice may provide follow up rehabilitation support.

Common areas of focus for allied health professionals include:

  • Helping clients regain physical functionality or adjust to a different level of functionality
  • Assisting people to regain their ability to communicate
  • Assessing and modifying clients’ home, community or work environments to improve their safety and independence
  • Prescribing and educating clients and carers in the use of adaptive equipment to assist function
  • Assisting people adjust to life changes resulting from their illness or injury
  • Enhancing recovery and rehabilitation through psychosocial interventions to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Access to allied health rehabilitation services

People requiring rehabilitation following significant illness will be funded through the public hospital system or private health insurance if they have an appropriate level of cover. Where a person may require rehabilitation following an injury they may be covered for the cost of rehabilitation services through State and Territory accident schemes such as the Transport Accident Commission in Victoria. Funding for rehabilitation services is also available through state based government agencies that provide workers compensation such as Workcover Queensland and Workcover West Australia.

Allied health services may also be available through community health services or local programs funded by Primary Health Networks. Medicare funding can help people meet the cost of accessing community-based allied health services.