Students in some of Australia’s most prestigious massage schools will have to be accompanied by a masseuse to receive their massage treatments.
News24 has learned the massage schools at the University of Melbourne, The Alfred Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital, the University Hospital, and St Vincent De Paul are among the massage facilities that offer massage services.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has recommended that massage therapy schools provide “safe and effective” massage therapy services for the general public.
It recommends that massage therapists should be licensed by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and trained to work in a massage therapy centre.
“We want massage therapists to have the confidence to practice in safe and effective settings,” Dr Richard Deacon, the chairman of the AHPRA said.
“In the current climate of stigma and social isolation, the introduction of a safe and efficient massage therapy practice for the masses in Australia is vital.”
The AHPRB is the regulatory body for massage therapy in Australia.
It has previously issued a report that found more than 50% of massage therapists in the country had “experienced bullying, harassment, discrimination or discrimination because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or mental health status”.
News24 asked the AHRC for guidance on the new guidelines.
A spokesperson for the AHPA said it was working with the AHRA to develop an action plan to address the issues highlighted in the NHMRC report.
“While it is currently not a requirement for massage therapists or any other health care provider to provide care to any client, AHPA has made it a priority to make this requirement mandatory,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the AHAP also has a comprehensive and inclusive program in place to address and eliminate any discrimination against the transgender community.
“As part of our inclusive and inclusive culture, the AHP has worked with transgender health providers, employers and the public to create a framework for inclusive health care and services,” the AHPP spokesperson said in a statement.
“This framework includes the establishment of safe and inclusive environments, including culturally sensitive and inclusive practices, policies, training and support for transgender and gender non-conforming people.”