Policy Advisor Ray Bange participated in an HWA Workshop session held in Brisbane on 9th June to explore issues relating to the delivery of Primary Care. The workshop formed part of a study into the development of a National Training Plan (NTP) for Doctors, Nurses and Midwives to provide the estimated numbers of professional entry, postgraduate and specialist trainees that will be required between 2012 and 2025.

A number of workshops are being held whose principal objectives are to:

  • consider the  method, inputs, assumptions and data sources used in generating the preliminary baseline projections,
  • identify existing data gaps and limitations significantly impacting on the projections  and consider appropriate short and longer term management strategies,
  • consider the sensitivity of the projections to changes in the assumptions, in  terms  of  both supply and demand parameters, and
  • receive advice from the workshop participants to help identify and specify a limited number of alternative (‘what if’) scenarios for further work.

HWA presented the outcomes of their preliminary baseline projections and sensitivity analysis, reflecting recent trends in supply and demand. This was to enable discussion of potential improvements to the baseline modelling and the consideration of various “what if” scenarios.  The questions addressed by the Primary Care workshop included:

  • How best to attract and retain health professionals to primary health care?
  • How to address regional / rural distribution issues?
  • What  new  models  of  care  or  expansion  of  existing  models  of  care  could  significantly change the health professional workforce requirements, e.g. nurse practitioners, community midwifery models, increasing role of GPs in hospital care?  What evidence of their impact on workforce requirements is known?
  • What  is  the  role  of  overseas  trained  health  professionals  in  providing  services  to  the community?
  • What changes are anticipated in the nursing workforce in primary health care (registered nurses, enrolled nurses and patient care assistants) and what impact will this have on the projected requirements for nurses?

The final HWA report with workforce projections and strategies is expected to be delivered to AHMC by the end of 2011.

Further details of the HWA program can be seen here: