Archived News for Health Sector Professionals - April, 2011
Skills shortages are continuing to have a significant impact on business performance in New South Wales, according to the recently released NSW Business Chamber - Commonwealth Bank Business Conditions Survey for the March 2011 quarter.
The survey found that as employment in NSW rises to a record level and with unemployment falling, 46.8% of businesses indicate they have a skills shortage. This represents a significant increase from November 2010, when 39% of businesses reported skills shortages.
Skills shortages have been reported across major industry sectors, with particular demand in occupations Including construction trades, technicians (e.g. refrigeration and air conditioning), metal trades, engineers, accountants, ICT professionals, health and community support services, sales and marketing, professional, scientific and technical services.
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is convening a National Health Reform Simulation Event on 21-22 June in Canberra. The simulation will test the Commonwealth and state governments’ health reform plans and will contribute to their effective implementation.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is lobbying for pharmacists and other allied health professionals to be included in the government’s health reform agenda.
Health Workforce Australia (HWA) has called for tenders to undertake a case study on the delivery of the HWA Workforce Innovation and Reform: Caring for Older People (CfOP) program, as an example of the delivery of a national change program in workforce reform.
Scientists are continuing to campaign against feared cuts to the National Health and Medical Research Council funding in next month's federal budget, amid hopes that the Federal Government may have decided against the $400 million cut.
The new Director-General for NSW Health, Dr Mary Foley, has written to staff of the department, outlining reforms proposed in discussions between the Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner, and Governing Council Chairs and Chief Executives of Local Health Networks, Clinical Support Division Chief Operating Officers, and the senior executive of the Department of Health.
Ten new headspace youth mental health services will begin operating by the end of the year, with the announcement by the Federal Government of the selection of the lead agencies for operation.
During a visit to Western Australia today, the Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, announced an extra 63 health workers are being provided to health services across the state to help close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The Australian Government is providing almost $8 million for an extra 63 health workers to be placed in 27 Western Australian health services, including a large number of Aboriginal Health Services. Already 42 of the 63 workers have been recruited.
The 63 positions funded for WA are:
A new national campaign called Live Longer! has been launched to tackle chronic disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The campaign is a central part of the Australian Government’s $21.3 million investment over four years to establish and run Local Community Campaigns.
The Federal Government has signed an agreement with the Australian Association of Pathology Practices, the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and the National Coalition of Public Pathology under which expenditure growth on pathology through Medicare will be capped to approximately 5% per annum, resulting in savings of $550 million over the five-year period of the agreement.
The WA Government has provided the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) with funding of $1.695 million over the next two years to distribute to more than 75 non-government not-for-profit agencies.
The Western Australian Government has allocated $11.35 million over three years, for a range of health promotion programs and campaigns to fight obesity and related diseases.
The new NSW Coalition government has replaced the director-general of health, Debora Picone, who has been in the position for almost four years, with Dr Mary Foley, formerly National Health Practice Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia, and prior to that foundation Chief Executive of St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney (2001 -2008).
The Department of Health and Ageing has called tenders for the design and establishment of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health and commencement of the first wave of data collection.