This chapter introduces how the book compares the allied health professions, both as a collective and as individual disciplines, in Australia and the UK. Australia and the UK were chosen as a basis for comparison because the allied health professions have emerged in each jurisdiction from similar philosophies, regulatory structures and training approaches, which allows meaningful comparison. The different funding and system contexts provide a comparative basis to understand the impact of different features on allied health professionalisation. It starts from the position of the similarities between the allied health contexts in both countries. Politically, neo-liberalism has been influential in driving the healthcare funding models and accountabilities in both nations, though different healthcare funding systems have facilitated varied flexibilities within the allied health workforces in each context. The modern allied health professions were heavily shaped by the formal organisation of labour that emerged within the colonies of the British Empire as a result of the Industrial Revolution. This book is largely focused on the way in which the allied health professions have emerged and developed within a Western context.
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