The assignment is designed to focus students on researching recent strategic workforce planning of the Commonwealth Government Department of Health and the extent to which proposed strategies are reflected in funding priorities. In addition students will analyse and present workforce data to show recent trends.
Following the 2014/15 Commonwealth Government budget it was decided to bring the functions of Health Workforce Australia under the Commonwealth Department of Health (DoH). Therefore the most recent statement of national health workforce policy is that documented in the Department of Health Annual Report2013-14, Volume 1 as outlined under Section 2.1, Performance by Outcome- Outcome 12 Health Workforce Capacity (p. 119-125).
Outcome 12 aims to ensure that Australia has the workforce necessary to address its current and future health needs. In 2013-14, the Department worked to achieve this outcome by managing initiatives under the programs 12.1 and 12.2 as follows:
Program 12.1: Workforce and rural distribution
Program 12.1 aims to increase the number of health professionals in regional, rural and remote Australia; increase investment in health workforce training; and increase access to health services through overseas recruitment. Specific strategies include:
• Increase the supply of health professionals in rural, regional and remote Australia.
• Increase access to medical services through recruitment support.
• Increased investment in medical training and education.
• Building Emergency Department (ED) workforce capacity.
Program 12.2: Workforce development and innovation
Program 12.2 aims to increase health workforce capacity. The specific strategy identified is for increased investment in the dental workforce.
Question: Determine the extent to which the current national strategic policy direction stated above has been implemented by the Commonwealth Government. This should include:
• Analysis of current Commonwealth funding programs and the extent of recently allocated funding under programs to support the strategies identified above (distribution, recruitment, medical training and education, EDworkforce capacity);
• Analysis of recent trend data on the health workforce to determine the extent to which there has been growth in the supply of health professionals in rural, regional and remote Australia.