PACFA participating in Department of Health’s workforce Scope of Practice review

14 March 2024

PACFA’s CEO, Johanna de Wever has been participating in multiple consultations relating to the Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce Scope of Practice review currently being conducted by the Department of Health. This project is a flagship for Minister for Health Mark Butler and Assistant Minister for Mental Health Emma McBride and reflects their commitment to efficacious use of the Allied Health workforce. We are proud to represent counsellors and psychotherapists in this important advocacy space.

In addition to consulting individually on the review, PACFA has also contributed via our involvement with National Rural Health Alliance, NASRHP, AHPA and Mental Health Australia.

The independent review, headed by Professor Mark Cormack, delves into the evidence surrounding how effectively healthcare professionals can utilise their full range of skills within the primary care workforce. The review's focus is two-pronged: firstly, to pinpoint the obstacles that hinder professionals from working to their maximum capacity, and secondly, to identify successful models of multidisciplinary teams where members leverage their full skillsets to deliver top-notch primary care.

Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce will explore how to empower Australia's healthcare professionals. By recommending system changes and embracing technology, the initiative aims to unlock greater productivity and deliver improved, safe, and affordable care for patients.

The review covers the primary care workforce, including GPs, allied health practitioners (both regulated and self-regulated), nurses, midwives, pharmacists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners and workers, and paramedics. Its focus areas are legislation and regulation, technology, education and training, funding mechanisms, employer practices and work context, and leadership and culture. Additionally, the review team is undertaking a broad consultation process to consider and hear all perspectives and voices. The review is consulting with governments, peak bodies, health professions, regulators, education and training providers, employers, funders, insurers, professional bodies, unions and consumers.

Professor Cormack, who is leading the Independent Scope of Practice Review, works at the Australian National University (ANU) College of Health and Medicine; he also established the ANU’s National Centre for Health Workforce Studies. Professor Cormack’s academic role follows a long career of senior roles in Commonwealth, state and ACT government, including as CEO of Health Workforce Australia, as CEO of ACT Health, and as Deputy Secretary at three Australian Government Departments.

Please click here for updates about the review and its progression.