Aspiring physiotherapists will no longer need to leave the state to complete their qualifications, with the University of Tasmania to launch a masters course in 2022.
The course is the first to be announced as part of the university's Allied Health Expansion program and is aimed at meeting a growing demand for services across the state.
UTAS offers undergraduate courses in pharmacy, psychology, social work, laboratory medicine, nutrition and exercise science.
However, for former students like David Sluis who studied exercise science, achieving his dream of becoming a physiotherapist meant leaving Tasmania.
"For me, I travelled to South Australia and there was a significant portion of my cohort who did travel to interstate to do physiotherapy," he said.
"The other thing is, when you travel interstate ... a lot of people don't come back. So of the portion of my cohort who travelled, I think there was only three of us who came back to Tassie, to work as physios."
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It is estimated that up to 90 students leave the state each year to study physiotherapy or other allied health courses not offered in Tasmania.
With the state facing significant health challenges including an aging population and high rates of chronic disease, School of Health Sciences head Professor Nuala Byrne said the allied health workforce was integral to Tasmania's future.
"It's a really important point to make that if we can help people right at the start of their health journey," she said.
"If we can get people to understand how to be more physically active in their lifestyle, as well as eating really healthy ... we will prevent a large amount of the acute care issues we have in our hospitals."
Applications for the Master of Physiotherapy will open early August 2021, with plans for occupational therapy and speech pathology to also be available in 2022.
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