Australian Health Ministers and the New Zealand Health Minister met in Canberra today to discuss a range of national health issue including workforce, eHealth, Indigenous health and aged care. The meeting of the Standing Council on Health was chaired by WA Minister for Health, Dr Kim Hames.
Issues discussed today included:
MyHospitals – New cancer surgery and quality and safety data added
Providing more information about the range and location of cancer-related treatment services and waiting times on MyHospitals enables patients to find out more about local services and helps to drive improvements in hospital performance.
Dementia – a National Health Priority
Ms Plibersek said the projected growth in the number of people with dementia will result in many challenges for the health sector. Making dementia a National Health Priority Area would help focus attention and drive collaborative efforts aimed at tackling dementia at national, local and state and territory levels.
The Commonwealth intends to formally bring a paper on this issue to the August 2012 meeting, at which the Commonwealth Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, will join a substantive discussion on this issue.
Model of care for privately practicing midwives
Ministers agreed to further discussion on this issue at their next formal meeting in August 2012.
Health Workforce 2025: Doctors, Nurses and Midwives
While there may be debate over the modeling in this report it identifies indicative broad trends well into the future and without strong reform intervention these estimates will mean services may be unsustainable.
Ministers agreed that the report presents the need for essential coordinated, long term reforms by Governments, professions and the higher education and training sector.
All Governments have made substantial investments in Australia’s health workforce and delivered more doctors and nurses than ever before. These investments have been significant; however, it is clear from the report that we must look further then just adding to the existing workforce profile. Other more innovative solutions are required. Looking further means new ways of thinking, new models of care and new roles and functions across the health workforce.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Final Report – Growing Our Future
There is significant variability in the roles, functions and title of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers across Australia and this report proposes a nationally consistent definition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Health Workers which has been broadly supported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.
The report provides a total of 27 recommendations which will help to inform the development of policies and strategies that will strengthen and sustain the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker workforce to deliver care in response to the known burden and distribution of disease in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
The COAG National Action Plan on Mental Health 2006-2011 Fourth Progress Report Covering Implementation to 2009-10
Donate Life Network Progress Report
In 2011 there were 337 donors who made a life changing difference to 1001 transplant recipients.
Ministers agreed on the national and jurisdictional donation targets for 2012 and the projected donation and transplant growth trajectories to 2018.
National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health
The Framework is an important guide for all levels of government to enable a more consistent and coordinated approach for rural and remote health. The Framework aims to reduce the inequities in health outcomes and service delivery currently experienced by rural and remote Australians. The Framework will be publicly available at www.ruralhealthaustralia.gov.au.
AUSTRALIA'S dependence on imported doctors and nurses - which faces rising international criticism - will continue to grow without reforms in supply and use of local graduates, the first national report on the health workforce says.
The report by HealthWorkforce Australia shows in recent years Australia has imported more doctors than it has produced local medical graduates.
That is despite endorsement eight years ago by health ministers of the goal of ''national self-sufficiency'' in health workforce supply.
The report was released after yesterday's meeting of state and federal health ministers, who warned that ''without strong reform intervention these estimates will mean services may be unsustainable''.
The ministers gave their support to the prosect of big changes in the working scope of doctors and nurses which is likely to include increased use of assistants and technology such as ehealth.
Reforms may include greater use of assistants, the introduction of ''new workforces'' and broader application of technologies such as ehealth and telehealth (the use of telecommunications for consultations, diagnosis and procedures).