The health workforce.

  • Peter M Brooks
  • Published 2013 in
    Australian health review : a publication of the…


The health and social care workforce is now the largest segment of the Australian workforce with over 1.4million workers. In a personnel-intensive industry such as health,workforce is themost important single issue to address as we look to the future of our health system. Driven as it is by the increasing demand of chronic disease, ageing and a population that has a voracious appetite for health ‘products’, we are going to have a major problem with the funding of healthcare in the near future. Some would say it is already here with health being the largest item of ‘spend’ by governments around the country. Health costs are increasing at a far greater rate than incomes and we are already finding that outof-pocket health expenses account for some 22% of health expenditure (A$28 billion) and are some of the highest in the world.We have to at least start seriously addressing these issues – but not just with more of the same – which is what most government agencies includingHealthWorkforceAustralia seem to be doing. There really has to be some innovation in the new health paradigm – how to create a health system that is truly patient-focussed and does not just exist to maintain the health professionals in their silos; a system that really does place the patient as the captain of the (their) ship (of health) with the health professional as the navigator and is financially sustainable. It is about deciding (with the community) what health services we wish to provide (at least on the public purse), whowewill provide them for, where we will provide them, and who is going to pay for them. Thehealthworkforce thenneeds to be configured such that it is fit for purpose and:

DOI: 10.1071/AHv37n5_ED

Cite this paper

@article{Brooks2013TheHW, title={The health workforce.}, author={Peter M Brooks}, journal={Australian health review : a publication of the Australian Hospital Association}, year={2013}, volume={37 5}, pages={559} }