This study has concluded. The research report was released on 19 January 2006.
The Productivity Commission was asked to undertake a research study on the health workforce. This study arose from a decision by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in June 2004 to cover:
- factors affecting the supply of, and demand for, health professionals;
- current structure and distribution of the health workforce and its efficiency and effectiveness
- efficacy of health workforce planning and its linkages to health services planning and the education sector
- workforce-related policy measures that would help to ensure efficient and effective delivery of quality health services over the next ten years in an environment of demographic change, technological advances and rising health costs
- particular health workforce needs of people in regional and remote areas, and Indigenous Australians
- provision of out-of-hours services by general practitioners adjacent to acute care hospitals.
The terms of reference defined 'health workforce professional' to include the entire health workforce, from those trained in the vocational education and training sector to medical specialists. The education and training sector includes vocational, tertiary, post-tertiary and clinical education and training.