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Since 2003 Australian governments have implemented a range of expansionary policies regarding the medical workforce. More university places, more medical schools and more funding for training. Yet despite these efforts, an audit of the rural health workforce released in 2008 concluded that the supply of the medical workforce in rural and regional areas was too low. This led to a Rural Health Workforce Strategy. This survey will report on the background and key elements of this strategy.
In April 2008, the new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, convened a summit to develop long-term policy options across 10 critical areas, including health and health care. The Summit brought together 1000 leading Australians to debate potential responses. The health stream developed over 120 separate ideas across the fields of prevention, workforce, inequalities, future challenges and opportunities and health research. This report will highlight some of the big ideas that arose from the summit.
Australia's Productivity Commission released a report in December 2005 recommending a large number of reforms to do with the training, demand, supply and distribution of Australia's Health Workforce. This survey reports on the problems and recommendations identified by the Productivity Commission, as well as the Government's actions in the area of workforce reform since the release of the report.
The QHSDC is a government sponsored centre which aims to assist in the development of a safer, flexible and effective health workforce. An important goal is to provide a springboard for the fermentation of ideas to enable the production of innovative and research-based courses whose outcomes are properly evaluated. It encompasses mock operating theatres, laboratories and virtual reality skills areas and aims to be self funding through providing educational courses to health care professionals.
'beyondblue' is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance misuse disorders in Australia. It is a joint initiative of the Australian federal, state and territory governments. beyondblue works in partnership with health services, schools, workplaces and many other agencies towards raising community awareness about depression and reducing stigma associated with the illness.
The objectives of the NSW Nursing Re-Connect strategy is to encourage nurses currently not working in nursing to return to the nursing workforce using paid nursing employment opportunities and individualised tailored support.The scheme operates as an individually designed, clinically focussed "refresher" course for registered or enrolled nurses not currently working as nurses. It is funded by the NSW Department of Health and there are no course fees.
The Final Report of the South Australian Generational Health Review, 'Better Choices Better Health', justifies the case for systemic reform of the South Australian (SA) health system. The report's 74 recommendations aim to create a health system which is: focused on population health and health inequalities; primary care based; more accountable; and more capable of effective change.
The Australian government introduced a subsidized scheme of indemnity insurance to prevent doctors ceasing to practice and to reform the medical indemnity insurance market. The scheme is a package of activities that aims at enhancing quality of health services, and at protecting medical practitioners.
The objective of this policy is to commission an independent review of the South Australian (SA) health system which will deliver a plan that provides effective strategies for health system reform and ensures that residents of SA have the best possible health, and have access to high standards of care.
In July 2007 Austria implemented a new Home Care Law (HCL) which complements existing arrangements. In recent years 24h home care has become a fourth pillar in long-term care provision. This policy aims at ensuring access to 24h care by permitting contractual relations between carers and recipients, by increasing the working time of carers and by granting subsidies. In the context of this legislation sanctions against illegally practicing care workers have been deferred until the end of 2007.