Axing health workforce agency must not come at expense of planning

17 Jul 2014

The decision to axe Health Workforce Australia and absorb its functions within the Health Department must not come at the expense of the considerable momentum and expertise around health workforce planning that has been developed in the past five years, the AMA has said.

The Senate has launched an inquiry into the Federal Government’s decision, detailed in the Budget, to abolish HWA at a time when crucial work is being undertaken to improve the planning and coordination of medical training amid concerns of inadequate prevocational and vocational training places.

In a written submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry, AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler said that, with the Government determined to axe HWA, the focus of effort “must be on ensuring that its functions and programs are preserved without any loss of momentum during the transition process”.

Read the AMA's submission here.

In its report released on 14 July, the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee majority report said it was satisfied that the transfer of HWA's roles and responsibilities to the Department of Health should not interfere with on-going health workforce planning and programs. Labor members of the Committee issued a dissenting report opposing the abolition of HWA. Click here for the Committee's report. 

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