Oncologist Dr. Belinda Yeoh and a patient


Enhanced primary care


People with chronic conditions and complex care needs who are being managed through an enhanced primary care (EPC) multidisciplinary care plan may be eligible for up to five allied health services per year on referral from their GP.

The Austin Physiotherapy Department has identified five key areas:

  •     Neurological rehabilitation
  •     Lumbar canal stenosis
  •     Bronchiectasis
  •     Ankylosing Spondylitis
  •     Chronic Disease Self Management

Physiotherapists are available to assist in the development of EPC care plans.


Neurological rehabilitation

Any patient with a movement disorder due to a neurological condition can be referred to this program.

This may include problems such as:

  • falls or loss of balance
  • walking difficulties
  • trouble performing daily activities

Physiotherapists will provide individual programs such as gait retraining, balance training and exercise programs, to enable patients to achieve higher levels of independent function and an enhanced quality of life. Throughout the program, patients will be reviewed regularly and the program adjusted to meet the goals identified.


Lumbar Canal Stenosis

Patients will be given a trial of physiotherapy over a 6-8 week period. The initial session will include a full assessment and completion of relevant outcome measures. The physiotherapist will assess, treat and prescribe an individual home exercise program for each patient. All patients will be reassessed at eight weeks. Where indicated, further physiotherapy sessions will be offered at this time. Patients may also be referred to hydrotherapy, gym class or a community rehabilitation centre for ongoing therapy. A further review will take place at six months to assess long-term outcome and progress.


All patients will attend an initial session for assessment, and the development of a treatment plan for airway clearance. Once an effective home routine has been established, patients will be reviewed at three to six month intervals.

Patients suffering an exacerbation of their disease can also be managed under this program. These patients will attend three to five intensive treatment sessions, until they are able to be re-established on a maintenance home routine. These patients will be reviewed at 12-month intervals, or more frequently, if they suffer a further exacerbation.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This program is suitable for patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis who are in a stable disease phase. Each individual will attend an initial physiotherapy assessment to determine baseline measurements and individualised goals.

Patients will be provided with an independent home exercise program and attend group hydrotherapy classes. The physiotherapist will monitor each patient's home exercise program and conduct a follow-up assessment at the completion of the hydrotherapy sessions.

Chronic Disease Self Management Program

Examples of diseases, which may be appropriate for this program, include:

  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • obesity
  • chronic pain
  • osteoporosis
  • heart failure
  • emphysema
  • asthma
  • diabetes
  • peripheral vascular disease

Based on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), each patient will attend weekly 2.5 hour group sessions for six weeks.

Topics will include:

  • exercise
  • cognitive symptom management techniques
  • nutrition
  • fatigue and sleep management
  • use of community resources
  • use of medications
  • dealing with emotions of fear, anger and depression
  • communication with others
  • problem-solving and decision making

To maximise long-term compliance patients will be encouraged to attend the program annually.