The Government’s paediatric speech therapist (PT) bill will make it illegal for PTs to prescribe speech therapy services for children under 14.
The bill also will criminalise speech therapy and prevent PTs from practising speech therapy if they do not meet a certain standard.
The Government says it is “a matter of vital public health”.
But PTs say the bill will have a detrimental impact on speech therapy in their profession.
In the past few months, the Government has taken an aggressive approach to protecting PTs and their patients from any negative effects of the bill.
The PT Bill will: criminalise speech therapists by banning them from prescribing speech therapy for children aged 0-14 in Queensland and New South Wales, except for special cases of severe hearing loss, as well as the need to receive the patient’s consent before providing a speech therapy session.
It will also make it a criminal offence for PT practitioners to provide speech therapy to children aged 12 and over.
The Government says the bill is needed to “ensure public safety” because of the high number of young people suffering from speech disorders.
PTs are also concerned the legislation will not protect them against lawsuits, as there will be no right of appeal for cases that go against the PTs.
This week, the PTC Association, which represents the PT industry, told the ABC it was “confident” the bill would pass, but that PTs were “not entirely convinced”.
“We’re looking at this as a matter of life and death,” the PT Association’s Dr Peter Waring said.
“We’re confident the legislation passed with the support of the Government, but we don’t think it will stop PTs or PT practitioners from providing speech therapy.
But the PT Bill has been criticised by some of Queensland’s leading PTs, who say it will make PTs less effective in providing speech-language pathology services to young people.
Read more about the PT bill: In a statement, the Queensland PT Association said the PT Act “will make it an offence to prescribe, or arrange for the prescribing of, speech therapy”.
“We are concerned that PT practitioners will be more reluctant to provide these services because of this restriction.” “
We believe the PT act is a measure to restrict PT services and we are disappointed it has not been included in the bill to prevent abuse of the profession,” PT Association Queensland president, Chris McEvoy, said.
“We are concerned that PT practitioners will be more reluctant to provide these services because of this restriction.”
The PT Act is also being opposed by some speech therapists in Queensland, who believe it will be a significant blow to the profession.
The Queensland PT Society’s Dr Michael Tully told the BBC it was a “huge issue” for PT therapists to be unable to provide their services to vulnerable children.
He said PTs had a “very difficult job” because they were “trying to be the best professional and we have to do what we can to ensure that we’re doing what we’re supposed to do”.
“You’re trying to be a very professional and very good therapist.
It’s a very hard job, but it’s also a very rewarding job,” he said.
“So, we’re going to do everything we can in the public interest to try and save the profession.”
Mr McEvoyle said PT teachers would be reluctant to do their jobs.
“I would hope that in the first instance they wouldn’t go to work in that position, but certainly not at the expense of their profession,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“There’s a significant risk to their careers.”
The Queensland PT Act will make speech therapy treatments available to children with severe hearing damage, including children aged 8-12.
It will also require PTs who do not have the proper licence to offer their services in Queensland.
A new law will be introduced to make it easier for parents and carers to obtain PT services for their children.
PTAs say they will need more time to prepare for the bill, which will be presented to the Legislative Assembly for consideration in September.
Read more: If you have a disability, you should speak up to protect your child: What you need to know about the proposed PT Act article The Queensland Government is expected to consider the PT Legislation Bill before the end of the month, but parents and people with disabilities are already expressing concerns.
Dr Tully said PT practitioners would also have to consider what they could do in the event of a change in the law.
But PT Association of Queensland president Peter Wearing said PT parents would be “very disappointed” if the legislation did not go ahead.
Mr Wearing has been in contact with the PTA Association and has been “working to make sure