Communications and advocacy update: 29 September
29 September 2022
Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria is working on for members, including:
- Victorian Health Workforce Strategy: AMA Victoria Submission
- New module for clinicians on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and end of life law
- Review of the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
Victorian Health Workforce Strategy: AMA Victoria Submission
We have recently provided a submission to the in-progress Victorian Health Workforce Strategy, which is currently undergoing external consultation and is scheduled to be released in mid-2023. Amongst other issues, the submission addressed overseas, rural and remote, and metropolitan workforce concerns, acknowledging that these are all important to our varied membership.
Our submission highlighted the importance of addressing medical workforce maldistribution to ensure capacity in areas most in need and thus reduce the burnout of current healthcare staff. Noting that current efforts to address workforce shortage are increasingly relying on locums and overseas recruitment, our submission proposed the implementation of a state-wide strategy in communication with the current workforce to provide better coordination of locum and IMG use in order to best address workforce distribution needs.
Importantly, our submission noted that GPs and doctors in regional, rural and remote regions are at a pronounced shortage. A key recommendation included in our submission was therefore for the adoption of a single employer model for GP registrars to ensure parity in pay and working conditions to their hospital counterparts. We also noted the need for financial assistance for general practices, such as via exemption from potential payroll tax liability.
The submission also noted the need to include outer metropolitan areas in discussions of workforce shortage. These areas experience significant disadvantage and complexity due to high burdens of disease and more diverse populations with English as their second language.
Of particular note, we have advocated against task substitution by non-medical staff as a solution to the current workforce shortage crisis. Our AMA Federal colleagues have previously published a policy explaining how task substitution results in fragmentation of care.
The submission also noted the inadequacy of the current workforce funding and model in ensuring retention, wellbeing, education, and training of the medical workforce. To address this, we recommended a comprehensive approach involving addressing cultural issues, prioritising financial incentives over punitive disincentives, longer contracts, improved access to leave portability, flexible and improved opportunities for training, and improved support for doctors with disabilities.
New module for clinicians on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and end of life law
The End of Life Law for Clinicians national training program has launched a new free online training module for all health professionals about Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and end of life law.
Designed with Indigenous health professionals and community, it aims to help health professionals understand legal considerations that can arise in the context of caring for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and families at the end of life, to provide Culturally Safe and Culturally Responsive end of life care.
This training may attract CPD points. For more information about the module click here. Register at the Palliative Care Education & Training Collaborative.
Review of the Reportable Conduct Scheme
Victoria's Reportable Conduct Scheme was established to improve organisational responses to allegations of child-related misconduct.
The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing is conducting a review of the first five years’ operation of the Scheme. The Department is inviting feedback from stakeholders as to how well the Scheme is operating and whether it should be expanded to include any other organisations.
A consultation page inviting survey responses and written submissions is accessible through Engage Victoria until 23 October 2022.
Feedback received will be consolidated and will culminate in a report and recommendations to the Minister for Child Protection and Family Services, which will be tabled in parliament by 1 July 2023.
If you would like to contribute towards a potential AMA Victoria submission, please contact Senior Policy Adviser, Lewis Horton, at LewisH@amavic.com.au.
For further information about the Reportable Conduct Scheme or the Child Safe Standards visit:
- Review of Victoria’s Reportable Conduct Scheme | Engage Victoria
- Reportable Conduct Scheme | Commission for Children and Young People
- Child safe standards | Commission for Children and Young People