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AUT Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences
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2 Sep 2020 No respondents
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By Tania Williams
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Rural Physiotherapist treating whanau members

Rural Physiotherapist treating whanau members

Aroha is a Maori Physiotherapist working in rural Northland who has iwi affiliations to Ngapuhi and Te rarawa which is the Tribe for far north and Northland. She is aware of the physio regulations around treating family members. https://www.physioboard.org.nz/standards/physiotherapy-standards/treatment-of-whanau-family-members-and-others-close-to-you-standard.  

The guidelines have said that it is not good practice for Physiotherapists to assess and treat whanau members and others qualified. They have also defined what whanau is which is described as a collective of people connected through ancestors.  Northland has a high population of Maori of more than 60%, being a close-knit community it is highly likely you will come across close connections or those who you would whakapapa (family linkage) a line of descendants that link back to ancestors.

Northland has a limited amount of staff and at times Aroha would be left alone to manage the ward and maybe the only Physiotherapist available to see patients from the Emergency Department that come onto the ward. Aroha may come across a time where she may have to treat close family members because of her linkages to the Iwi.

It is proposed that rural Physiotherapists should be able to treat family members in some instances Working in a rural hospital is a small hospital and a small town it is difficult to not come across people you are somehow related to whether they are close or not. Patients quite often do not have a choice but to attend this hospital as there is no other hospital within 200kms.

It is proposed that In some instances Physiotherapists should treat whanau members