National Health Workforce Innovation and Reform Strategic Framework for Action 2011-2015

This framework has been designed to provide an overarching, national platform that will guide future health workforce policy and planning in Australia. It sets out key priority areas and five essential domains that create the foundation for an integrated, high performing workforce fit to meet Australia’s health care needs.[from foreword]

Community Participation in Rural Primary Health Care: Intervention or Approach?

This literature review focused on evidence of the effectiveness of community participation and its role in rural primary health care service design and delivery to increase the likelihood of genuine community-health sector partnerships and more responsive health services for rural communities.

Junior Doctors' and Medical Students' Commitment to Working in Areas of Workforce Shortage

The purpose of this study was to report on the preparedness of medical students and junior doctors to commit to working in areas of workforce shortage. [from abstract]

Creating a Sustainable and Effective Mental Health Workforce for Gippsland, Victoria: Solutions and Directions for Strategic Planning

The reported study sought the views of mental health organisation leaders from Gippsland to identify current approaches and potential solutions to the challenges of workforce recruitment, retention and training in rural areas. [from abstract]

Workforce Data Tables

These data tables provide detailed information on the health workforce in Australia including data on workers from: health and community services, medical labor force, nursing and midwifery, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology. [from publisher]

Following the Funding Trail: Financing, Nurses and Teamwork in Australian General Practice

This paper begins with a review of general practice financing in Australia, and how nurses are currently funded. We then examine the influence on funding structures on the role of the nurse. We set out three dilemmas for policymakers in this area: lack of an evidence base for incentives, possible untoward impacts on interdisciplinary functioning, and the substitution/enhancement debate. [from abstract]

Beyond 50: Challenges at Work for Older Nurses and Allied Health Workers in Rural Australia: a Thematic Analysis of Focus Group Discussions

The purpose of this research was to identify aspects of work that have become more difficult for rural health workers as they have become older; and the age-related changes and exacerbating factors that contribute to these difficulties. Findings will support efforts to make workplaces more user-friendly for older health workers. [from abstract]

How Can General Practitioners Establish 'Place Attachement' in Australia's Northern Territory? Adjustment Trumps Adaptation

Retention of GPs in the more remote parts of Australia remains an important issue in workforce planning. The Northern Territory of Australia experiences very high rates of staff turnover. This research examined how the process of forming place attachment between GP and practice location might influence prospects for retention. [from abstract]

Overseas Trained Nurses Working in Regional and Rural Practice Settings: Do We Understand the Issues?

This review explored the contemporary understandings of the employment of overseas trained nurses in Australian regional and rural practice settings. [from abstract]

Multi-University Evaluation of the Rural Clinical School Experience of Australian Medical Students

Medical students have been attending rural clinical schools (RCSs) since 2001. Although there have been generally positive single institution reports, there has been no multi-institution study using a common survey instrument. The experiences of medical students who attended a number of RCSs during 2006 were evaluated using a rural-specific questionnaire. [from abstract]

Transfer of Learning to the Nursing Clinical Practice Setting

The aim of this project was to identify if there is a link between what nursing students learn in simulated clinical laboratory sessions and what they experience during their clinical placements. [from abstract]

Retirement Intentions of Dentists in New South Wales, Australia

Predictions on the growing shortage of the ageing Australian dental workfoce are based on the retirement trends of previous generations. This study attempts to determine the retirement intentions of today’s older dentists. [adapted from abstract]

Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employement and Life (MABEL) Longitudinal Survey: Protocol and Baseline Data for a Prospective Cohort Study of Australian Doctors' Workforce Participation

While there is considerable research on medical workforce supply trends, there is little research examining the determinants of labour supply decisions for the medical workforce. The MABEL study investigates workforce participation patterns and their determinants using a longitudinal survey of Australian doctors. It aims to generate evidence to support developing effective policy responses to workforce issues such as shortages and maldistribution. This paper describes the study protocol and baseline cohort, including an analysis of response rates and response bias. [from abstract]

Incentive Payments to General Practitioners Aimed at Increasing Opportunistic Testing of Young Women for Chlamydia: a Pilot Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial

Financial incentives have been used for many years internationally to improve quality of care in general practice. The aim of this pilot study was to determine if offering general practitioners a small incentive payment per test would increase chlamydia testing in women aged 16 to 24 years, attending general practice. [from abstract]

Observer Program: Insights from International Medical Graduates

This paper presents the findings of qualitative research documenting the participant experiences in the Observer Program, a hospital-based pre-employment program for international medical graduates entering the Australian healthcare system. [adapted from author]

Aging Medical Workforce in Australia: Where Will the Medical Educators Come From?

This paper examines aging of the general medical practitioner and specialist workforce in Australia and projects the numbers and timing of their retirement to 2025. It also discusses the impact that the retirement of experienced health care professionals has on the training requirements of the future health care workforce. [adapted from author]

Where Do Students in the Health Professions Want to Work?

Rural and remote areas of Australia are facing serious health workforce shortages. While a
number of schemes have been developed to improve recruitment to and retention of the rural
health workforce, they will be effective only if appropriately targeted. This study examines
the factors that most encourage students attending rural clinical placements to work in rural
Australia, and the regions they prefer. [from abstract]

Internet Tool Box for Rural GPs to Access Mental Health Services Information

This article documents the key stages of a project to develop and implement an online resource for facilitating local implementation and delivery of a program to provide improved access to mental health care. The article also reports on the use of this resource 12 months after its launch. [adapted from abstract]

Critical Review of Interventions to Redress the Inequitable Distribution of Healthcare Professionals to Rural and Remote Areas

This review provides a comprehensive overview of the most important studies addressing the recruitment and retention of doctors to rural and remote areas of Australia. [adapted from abstract]

Leading the Way: Tasmania’s Health Professionals Shaping Future Care

This guide details efforts to promote workforce sustainability by recognizing the need for a flexible healthcare workforce with skills to match patient and client needs while ensuring Tasmania keeps pace with international health workforce developments. [adapted from introduction]

Snapshot of the Australian Public Hospital Pharmacy Workforce in 2005

The first study of the Australian hospital pharmacy workforce (public and private hospitals) was undertaken in 2001. Data from this study provided a baseline and were used to estimate the future demand for hospital pharmacists. This article summarizes an update of this survey done in 2005. [adapted from author]

Snapshot of the Australian Public Hospital Pharmacy Workforce in 2007

The first study of the Australian hospital pharmacy workforce (public and private hospitals) was undertaken in 2001. Data from this study provided a baseline and were used to estimate the future demand for hospital pharmacists. This article summarizes an update of this survey done in 2007. [adapted from author]

Innovative Model Improving Success at University for Regional Australians Suffering Educational and Social Disadvantage

Regional Australia is critically short of registered nurses (RNs) due to an ageing nursing workforce and difficulty in attracting new staff. It is recognised that rural background is the most influential factor shaping a health professional’s decision to practise in regional areas. Because of this, Charles Sturt University offered a bachelor of nursing by distance education (DE), enabling rural and remote enrolled nurses (ENs)to upgrade their qualifications to RN. However, despite the flexible study mode offered, many rural and remote ENs were reluctant to progress to university study.

Rural Allied Health Workforce Study: Background, Rationale and Questionnaire Development

The Rural Allied Health Workforce Study (RAHWS) uses a cross-sectional survey instrument with high validity to provide a large scale but detailed profile of the allied health workforce in regional, rural and remote Australia. The RAHWS survey instrument has been designed to provide uniform data across a wide range of healthcare settings and will be used to explore the rural allied health workforce in rural regions in Australia during 2009 and 2010. [from abstract]

Why Do Medical Graduates Choose Rural Careers?

This article reports on research that assessed international and national best practice in the selection of students for graduate entry medical courses in order to investigate correlations between medical student selection procedures and exposure to rural medical practice during medical training with choice of careers in rural medicine. Central to the study was the issue of the medical workforce shortage in Australia’s rural communities. [from introduction]

Doctor Displacement: a Political Agenda or Health Care Imperative?

In the face of medical workforce shortages, governments are looking to displace doctors with alternative health care providers like nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other health professionals such as psychologists and pharmacists to relieve bottlenecks in health care delivery. Displacing doctors in this way, or role or task substitution as it is also termed, has been actively pursued in the United Kingdom and United States. How should the medical profession react to these developments? [from author]

Assessment of the Multidisciplinary Education for a Major Change in Clinical Practice: a Prospective Cohort Study

This study documents and assesses the impact of a major educational and support program on a change in the health service provision of a neonatal intensive care unit. [adapted from abstract]

Primary Health Care Delivery Models in Rural and Remote Australia: a Systematic Review

This is the first study to systematically review the available published literature describing innovative models of comprehensive primary health care (PHC) in rural and remote Australia since the development of the first National Rural Health Strategy (1993-2006). The study aimed to describe what health service models were reported to work, where they worked and why. [from abstract]

Vietnamese-Born Health Professionals: Negotiating Work and Life in Rural Australia

The two main objectives of this study were to examine aspects of the acculturation of overseas-born and Australian-trained health professionals in the Australian health discourse and identify key coping strategies used by them when in working in the rural context. [from abstract]

We're It, We're a Team, We're a Family Means a Sense of Belonging

Rural nurses describe the nature of their practice as being embedded in working as a team where belonging is central to the success of the team and the individual nurse. As a result they form close professional and personal ties. The challenge for nursing students is to develop a sense of belonging to the rural hospital team so that preceptorship is successful. The objective of this article is to describe the cultural theme of a sense of belonging that nursing students develop during a rural hospital preceptorship. [adapted from abstract]