Allied health professionals demand a place at executive level

Allied health professionals outside Barwon Health on April 19. Photo: Sue Bull

More than 50 allied health professionals and supporters rallied outside Barwon Health’s University Hospital on April 19 to protest against a proposed restructure.

The rally was organised by the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association (VAHPA) and supported by the Medical Scientists Association of Victoria.

The unions are concerned that Barwon Health’s new structure fails to include a chief allied health officer in an executive role.

The chief nursing role has been re-named “Chief Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Officer”, however only professional nurses can apply for the position, according to a draft seen by Green Left.

VAHPA executive officer Andrew Hewat told the rally that allied health professionals must be represented at executive level, otherwise decisions made do not take account of their work.

It is about respect for all allied health professions and support for the best quality patient care, Hewat said. Colleagues around the country and, as far away as Britain, are watching to see if a precedent is set for allied health professionals to be included in a health service executive.