In October 2023, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences made a submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care on the Unleashing the potential of our workforce – Scope of Practice Review.
The Academy welcomes this independent scope of practice review that will examine the barriers and incentives health practitioners face working to their full scope of practice in primary care.
We support this important initiative and stand ready to assist the Government where needed.
Our healthcare workforce is extraordinary, and they have been delivering for the Australian population through very challenging times.
It is imperative that the workforce can work to their full scope of practice and we must grow and nurture this group so that we are well placed to tackle future challenges.
It is important to acknowledge that providing pathways for primary care practitioners to become involved in research is not easy. Providing time for this workforce to undertake research training, progress research projects, and develop their roles as research leaders can impact on service delivery as their clinical roles need to be covered.
If we do not overcome these challenges, we cannot unlock the associated opportunities to improve care and patient outcomes. The benefits of nurturing this group will more than compensate for the challenges presented by their research activities.
The review should work closely with research institutions, accreditation bodies and others to develop solutions that will overcome these barriers.
The review must also consider ways to maximise involvement in, and benefits from, ongoing training and education. Health professionals need access to these opportunities, and they must be supported and incentivised to participate as a way to enable them to work to their full scope of practice.