A Liberal Nationals Government will develop a comprehensive state-wide health workforce strategy in order to ensure we have the skilled health professionals needed to deliver high quality health care for all Victorians, now and in the future.
There are significant staffing shortages affecting health care across Victoria. We have shortages in professions including general practice, dentistry, nursing, mental health, medical speciality areas and key allied health professions. This is exacerbated by geographic challenges, leaving rural Victorian communities disproportionately exposed.
Our $1 million plan will include identifying:
â— The changing needs of the health sector, including as a result of population growth, rising rates of chronic disease, an ageing population and technological innovation;
â— The number and type of doctors, nurses and midwives and allied health professionals Victoria needs, both now and into the future;
â— Locations where there is a shortage of health workers, noting type/specialty, and measures to ensure the appropriate distribution of Victoria’s medical and health workforce;
â— Incentives and opportunities that will encourage health workers (and their families) to relocate to areas of current or projected need;
â— Training opportunities and career pathways to ensure a skilled workforce, including in rural communities; and
â— Measures to ensure workforce diversity to meet population diversity such as indigenous and CALD workers.
A taskforce will immediately be convened and include health and community health services, colleges, professional associations and training organisations, unions and peak groups to develop and help deliver the plan. We will also work with the Federal Government, given their vital policy levers in this area.
The Liberal Nationals approach is in complete contrast to Daniel Andrews’ Labor Government who have refused to develop a state-wide workforce strategy, with Health Minister Jill Hennessy refusing for over a year to even meet with the Rural Doctors Association.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge:
"Our health workers do an exceptional job, but they cannot do it alone.
Given the importance of health to Victorians it’s unbelievable that Daniel Andrews has refused to develop a workforce plan. Without a strategy we cannot effectively support our current workforce and certainly cannot plan for future healthcare workforce needs.
We’ll fix Labor’s health workforce mess and work to prevent similar failures into the future."
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Country Health, Emma Kealy:
"The city-centric Andrews Labor Government has totally ignored the health workforce crisis gripping country Victoria, and the result is worse health outcomes for country people who now have to travel huge distances just to see a doctor.
Country Victorians deserve a better deal on healthcare, and that’s why the Liberal Nationals will deliver a blueprint for our health workforce to ensure we have the workers we need, where we need them, to deliver the high-quality services country people deserve."