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The Western Australian Podiatry Association says training in the profession is winding down in the state.
With Curtin University's Podiatry School scheduled to close when students graduate next year, the association's president Neil Hall says older people in particular could suffer.
He says the closure of podiatry schools is a national trend and in WA no new students have been accepted in the last two years.
"So we'll see, I guess as a trend, massive shortages in those areas," he said.
"We'll probably see an increase in the cost of podiatry services, simply by supply and demand."
It is interseting that as podiatry is gaining increased favour with the Australian Government Dept of Health with improved access to Medicare funded podiatry, and changes to the health act to allow podiatric surgeons better access to private hospitals, the federal education minister, who in a past life was AMA president, refuses to provide appropriate funding for undergarduate podiatry education, both in number of places and funding per place, placing stress on many of the undergarduate courses.
If the Curtin trend continues the current shotage of podiatrists will only continue. In Victoria a one year gap in 2002, with no graduates as the course changed from 3-4 years resulted in many podaitry vacancies, both public and private not being filled, and has in part reignited the debate on alternative foot care providers
__________________ Stephen Tucker Calvary Health Care
hello i currently live in scotland and am looking to work abroad within the next two years, is there a lot of scope to finding podiatry jobs in australia, if so can anyone pass on some website or contacts
__________________ Craig Payne
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Last edited by Admin : 26th November 2004 at 06:25 PM.
Curtin reluctantly announces closure of podiatry course
Curtin University of Technology has reluctantly announced that it will close its undergraduate podiatry course because it is no longer able to financially subsidise its existence.
Over the past eight years, subsidies totalling over $1 million have been provided by Curtin to enable the course to continue operation.
Professor Charles Watson, Executive Dean of Health Sciences at Curtin, said that he was reluctant to take this action but a detailed investigation of possible economies, other sources of income, and external subsidy had failed to find a way of keeping the undergraduate course going.
"All current undergraduate and postgraduate podiatry students at Curtin will be fully supported in completing their studies," Professor Watson said.
"We recognise the importance of podiatry and that is why we have subsidised it for so long. We know that many groups and individuals will express intense disappointment at this outcome, but we would like them to back their rhetoric with money.
"The staff in the Podiatry Department have consistently offered an excellent course. They have worked hard to find ways of keeping the course viable but the pressure of national funding cuts is just too great for a relatively small course. I wish to acknowledge their contribution to the University at this very difficult time."
According to Professor Watson, the budgetary problems for the Curtin podiatry course are no different to those suffered by a range of small health professional courses around the country.
"The future of health sciences courses with relatively small enrolments has been put at risk by nationally reduced university funding and the high cost of clinical education," he said.
"Curtin is currently exploring ways in which some national collaboration might be set up to support these kinds of courses in the smaller states in the future."