The Australian Government has recently released a review of health workforce programs in Australia – the Mason Review. It provides a broad overview of challenges for the health workforce with particular to rural and remote areas, and the geographic definition of such.

The background to the review:

  • A review of Australian Government health workforce programs, announced as part of the 2012-13 Budget, has been undertaken.
  • Current rural and workforce classification systems were considered as part of the review, including the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas and Districts of Workforce Shortage systems.
  • Broader health workforce challenges, including those identified in the Health Workforce Australia Report, Health Workforce 2025: Doctors, Nurses and Midwives were also considered.
  • The Minister for Health, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, appointed Ms Jennifer Mason as the independent external expert to lead the review, supported by Health Workforce Division. Ms Mason has an extensive background in public administration as a former Director-General of the NSW Departments of Human Services and Community Services.
  • To inform the review, Ms Mason undertook a series of stakeholder consultations through October, November and early December 2012.

The document and terms of reference can be found on the DoH Website. PA is currently reviewing the document to identify potential impacts for the paramedic community.