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Health Workforce in Australia Report

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Updated: May 5th, 2022

Executive Summary

The present health challenges call for comprehensive reforms within the entire sector. In such initiatives, the engagement of the health workforce is crucial. Therefore, it is appropriate to initiate critical reforms within the health sector. This observation is eminent in Australia. Particularly, this concerns the operations of the health professionals. The HWA Strategic Framework focuses on the comprehensive transformation of the health workforce within Australia. The implementation process of this policy occurs within specific phases. The trend is observable from the time of the establishment of the strategic framework. Consequently, there are different impacts already recorded from the implementation process. The report discusses the notable successes and failures in the implementation process. Federal and state involvement in the policy implementation procedures varies within different levels. However, the basic focus is to ensure an adequate achievement in the dispensation of quality medical care. This relates to the different population and class categories within Australia.

Introduction

The present global health challenges require strategic policy and framework. Australia is one of the countries that have introduced strategic operational guidelines within its health sector. Australia’s “health innovation and reform strategic framework for action 2011-2015,” (HWA Strategic Framework) is important (HWA, 2011). Its principal objective is to transform the entire health system. This embodies the financing mechanism, collaboration, employee engagement, and utilization of resources. The ” Council of Australian Government,” (COAG) indicated the need for change in the national healthcare system within Australia (CA, 2009). There are several eminent undertakings following the establishment of this policy. However, a critical analysis indicates different levels of accomplishment of various guidelines and operational principles. There are various stages of implementation already recorded. Analytically, it is observable that the proposed policy focuses on the procedural integration of workforce planning. Apart from this, there are critical reform areas within the health and education realms that are highlighted in the relevant briefs. Training and capacity building relevant personalities within the entire health sector have considerable attention. This discussion provides a critical analysis of the progress made in the implementation of the (HWA Strategic Framework).

The Critical Analysis

The (HWA Strategic Framework) has undergone several reforms. These are observable from the time of the establishment of the policy. Indicatively, there are potential elements already achieved. Presently, the HWA has established an independent cross-jurisdictional organ. The “Council of Australian Governments,” (COAG), operates within the non-state and governmental health systems (WHO, 2010). The independent body has significant contributions in the accomplishment of various underlined reforms. Observably, the most critical implementation processes are still ongoing. They are underway because the policy and various operational frameworks are segmented into different stages and implementation phases. Many activities are already attained. For instance, there is an adequate provision of inclusive, authoritative state-run labour force planning. The extensive investigations are launched to develop critical information.

Notably, the various stakeholders are relevant ministries consume the appropriate data from these studies (Palmer & Short, 2000). There are ongoing endeavors to expand the level of accessibility to high-standard clinical counseling and education. These initiatives target various segments of the population. Principally, the health professionals presently access various clinical placements within strategic points of health care delivery. In addition, there is an evident collaboration with the relevant research and training institutions. Several stakeholders and development partners undertake crucial roles in the implementation of the operational framework. The national program on novelty and innovation applicable to health workforce operates to realign various components of the system. These include the components of employee engagement, appraisal and performance indicators. Particularly, these relate to the workforce within the general health care sector. Needs assessment procedures within highly vulnerable points are carried out by health research agencies.

Predominantly, the aged health care systems have the highest priority in these initiatives. The observation of the countrywide system of “simulated learning environment,” (SEL) is vital (Barraclough & Gardner, 2008). Ideally, there are indicators that the initiative already helps to improve the safety and effectiveness realized during important clinical inductions. There are already endeavors that seek to initiate more transformative and inclusive systems of health care delivery. Heath care dispensation systems are new and innovative in nature. The relevant implementation processes have indicated critical attempts to facilitate a statutory system of recruitment. The approach complies with the international methodology and procedures applicable in the recruitment and management of the health workforce. There is an eminent institution of various implementation boards. The employment of different staff and committee members responsible for the execution of underlined roles is a critical initiative. The national government acts as an oversight authority. In this context, it helps to oversee, monitor and evaluate the processes undertaken by the various committees.

A critical analysis reveals the existence of various limitations in the implementation process (Segal & Bolton, 2009). These are notable within the processes of incorporation of jurisdictional projects. Moreover, there are observable limitations in the endeavors to streamline the processes of international recruitment. These highlighted areas still lack significant national guidelines necessary to direct the critical reforms. However, there are positive indications of effective collaborations initiated by various agencies. These collaborations with effective agencies are significant in guiding the national endeavors to initiate relevant reforms. There is an evident effort to streamline the existing health professionals’ training programs with the present provisions within the general higher education sector. Notably, this process occurs in variable trends within different states of the entire Australia.

The recent indulgence of the national government is important in redefining and providing adequate velocity to the reform programs (Behan, 2007). Various systems are set to help in the monitoring and benchmarking of the educational processes. Such undertakings are also applicable to the placement operations of all healthcare professionals. The benchmarking procedures occur within the global, national, and regional levels. The stringent monitoring and evaluation policies already increase the level of compliance and adherence to existent implementation guidelines. Empirical investigations conducted by most health workforce already receive considerable support (Willis, Reynolds & Keleher, 2009). The HWA offers critical support to these investigations. The results of such studies are applied in the planning and development of various guidelines. These are also critical in directing policy resolutions regarding diverse issues. Some of these include the workforce supply, critical needs and devolution.

The implementation process has achieved a full foundation of the federal health labor force statistical resource. There are already initiatives by the program to undertake a federal induction scheme for various categories of health workers (DH, 2010). This project is expected to provide an approximate of the total population of healthcare professionals needed by Australia by 2025. Indicatively, there is an eminent role of collaborations of various development partners and agencies in attaining this noble objective (Twaddle, 2002). Despite these accomplishments, there are other notable gaps. These gaps vary in extent and nature within the different states. For instance, there are critical workforce shortages. This trend is observable within the rural and distant regions of Australia. Therefore, it is deductable that the HWA has an uphill task. Particularly, this concerns the need to develop an ongoing recruitment process for the health care professionals. Outsourcing from overseas has been identified as one of the key strategies to minimize this eminent gap.

The development of the national strategy for health workforce novelty and transformation is underway. Actually, this process began in 2011. According to some reliable sources, there are expectations to wind up the final implementation phase by the close of this year. There is an increasing focus on high-quality health services. The elderly and management of the aged patients are central in these observations. Inter-professional practices have a central consideration and are notable within all sections of health care service delivery. Most policy advocators stress the consideration of emerging concerns within the process of health care service dispensation. The establishment of the “Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council,” (AHMC) has remarkable significance in the implementation process (AHMC, 2004). There is the identification of diverse barriers and other potential constraints likely to affect the implementation process.

The AHMC has already endorsed a comprehensive and transformative national strategy. The strategy helps to direct the program aimed to introduce the complete overhaul of the health system. The implementing team has developed a specific repository system. This system helps to store inclusive information concerning the entire nation’s workforce. The initiative is aimed at providing a dependable planning system for the entire Australian health care system. Currently, most decision-makers and policy formulators have adequate reach to vital datasets. In addition, there are underway negotiations with the “Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency,” (AHPRA) (HWA, 2012). The principle objective is to utilize the information collectively and beneficially. These negotiations also draw considerations from other related data handling protocols.

Conclusion and Recommendations

An effective health workforce provides nations with a competitive advantage. This is fundamental in Australia due to many reasons. For instance, it enhances high-quality and effective systems for health management. The Australian federal government appreciates the existent gap in its health care system. One of the evident limitations is the inadequacy in the number of health professionals. Additional and extensive investigations are necessary to enhance the implementation process. Moreover, the government must be involved in the monitoring of critical implementation processes. Collaboration and group action from different partners is critical in the development of a positive health workforce. These include some of the critical recommendations that require consideration.

References

AHMC, (Australian Health Minister’s Conference) (2004). National Health Workforce Strategic Framework. Web.

Barraclough, S. & Gardner, H. (2008). Analysing health policy: A problem-oriented approach. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Behan, P. (2007). Solving the health care problem: How other nations succeeded and why the United States has not. Albany: State University of New York Press.

CA, Commonwealth of Australia (2009). A Healthier Future For All Australians – Final Report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission. Web.

DH (Department of Health) (2010). Planning and Developing the NHS Workforce: The National Framework. Web.

HWA, (Health Workforce Australia) (2011). Work Plan Progress Report. Summary of progress for 2010/2011. Web.

HWA, (Health Workforce Australia) (2012). Health Workforce Insights. Web.

Palmer, G. R. & Short, S. D. (2000). Health care & public policy: An Australian analysis. South Melbourne: Macmillan Education Australia.

Segal, L. & Bolton, T. (2009). Issues facing the future health care workforce: the importance of demand modelling. Australia and New Zealand Health Policy, 6(12), 1-8.

Twaddle, A. C. (2002). Health care reform around the world. Westport, Conn: Auburn House.

WHO, (World Health Organization) (2010). Increasing access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention. Web.

Willis, E., Reynolds, L. & Keleher, H. (2009). Understanding the Australian health care system. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

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