The appointment of Australia’s new Chief Allied Health Officer, Dr Anne-marie Boxall, will help support the Australian Government’s Primary Health Care 10-Year Plan, health workforce reforms and the $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy.
Allied health professionals have essential roles in primary care and in the prevention, management and treatment of chronic disease across Australia, including in regional and rural areas.
Australia’s 195,000 allied health professionals represent more than a quarter of the health workforce and deliver an estimated 200 million health services each year.
Physiotherapists, dieticians, social workers, psychologists, medical imaging technologists, occupational therapists, podiatrists and more—help Australians live better lives, every day.
Additionally, increasing access to allied health services in the regions is vital to improving health outcomes for Australians living outside the major cities, and this appointment is a step towards that goal.
Dr Anne-marie Boxall, trained as a physiotherapist, brings a wealth of experience, qualifications and expertise to this role, and has worked in the public and private sectors for more than 10 years.
Her research expertise is in health policy—holding a Master of Public Health (Hons) and PhD in health policy, and recently completed a Harkness Fellowship in Healthcare Policy and Practice in the United States.
For more than a decade, Dr Boxall has worked in high-level policy roles in the Australian Public Service and non-government organisations, most recently as a senior executive in the Department of Health.
As the second largest health workforce, after nursing and midwifery, allied health delivers high quality health care, particularly in rural areas.
The appointment of Dr Boxall further strengthens the Government’s focus on delivering major primary health care reforms for the benefit of all Australians.
The 2019–20 Budget committed $1.1 billion to the Strengthening Primary Care package to encourage better preventive care and management of chronic disease for the benefit of all Australians.