Heath Workforce: Future Issues

Professor Ian Wronski AO

Australia has made significant gains in addressing health workforce shortages in rural and remote areas. New workforce models such as medical and allied health rural generalism have increased supply in rural and remote areas and Australia has established an international reputation for rural and remote health workforce development. However, epidemiological and demographic transitions, such as an ageing population and rising rates of multimorbidity, require further innovation in workforce models. Technological innovations in health, such as telehealth, augmented reality, machine learning and enhanced communication through the use of nanosatellites have the potential to increase access to health care in rural and remote areas, and will change the nature of health service delivery in these areas. On a global scale, developing economies are seeking to develop their workforce to meet universal health access goals and cross-country exchange of knowledge, skills and health professionals will increase. Australia, with its substantial skill base in health service delivery, can play a global role in health workforce development.