Message from the CEO
The new Commonwealth Government will deliver its first Budget in just a few weeks, on Tuesday 25 October. How that Budget is shaped will tell us much about whether the new Government sees social services, like health care, the NDIS, and enabling services for ageing Australians as a priority but importantly, also, an investment. It will tell us much about how much workforce development is seen as a driver to our future economic and social well-being; not only in construction, resources and manufacturing sectors, but skilled jobs in high demand, like allied health. The priority given to the Jobs and Skills Summit in early September, the lead up workshops and release of the Employment White Paper policy process Terms of Reference this week set the scene. Allied health, the area of jobs demand increasing fastest in the strongest employment growth sector of the economy (Health and Social Assistance) should be supported (or at absolute minimum, quarantined from negative decisions). As a sophisticated, developed nation, we should have reached a point where professionals who help develop and maintain the health, well-being and capacity of our population (and workforce), who enable rehabilitation, recovery and reduce costs due to disease, avoidable hospitalisations and more, are valued. We’ll see.
In Parliament and media interviews Ministers are increasingly being asked about whether the States and Territories will get more funding for health and hospitals (more than the 6.5% funding cap that applies now?), whether overall funding to the NDIS will be cut, whether commitments made by the previous Government pre-Election to increase rural medical and health training capacity will proceed, and so on. Much of this is genuine concern and efforts to influence is little more than posturing. The volume of it will increase over the next few weeks. In response, the themes of Ministerial responses is to a) not pre-empt the Budget and b) the debt and deficit inherited by the former Government means existing programs and commitments have to be assessed against current priorities and circumstances. Plus, there are the new Government’s own Election commitments that need to be funded.
This is a very serious situation and, unfortunately, the plethora of “unprecedented” events and circumstances we are incessantly reminded of creates the conditions where good programs and initiatives may be at risk, as well as those that have little comparative merit.
On a positive side, I’m really pleased to report that SARRAH’s membership is growing and has been consistently and solidly over the past 12 months and more. SARRAH's core strength is our membership, the knowledge, commitment, diverse capabilities and informed perspectives you bring to our work. We are always stronger, and our voice more potent when your input is prominent. Now is not a time to be quiet.
An excerpt from the National Cabinet meeting communique – Friday 30 September. Health on the agenda!
Improving care pathways
National Cabinet considered advice from First Secretaries on improving care pathways for patients, and addressing pressures on the health and hospital system.
First Ministers agreed to further work, with policy options to be considered in the context of each jurisdictions budget processes.
Health care professionals’ skills and qualification recognition
First Ministers agreed to progress a suite of projects proposed by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA). Projects will streamline and
accelerate skills and qualification recognition while maintaining an appropriate level of safety and quality.
First Ministers also agreed to an independently-led, rapid review of regulatory settings for both Australian and overseas trained health professionals, which will report back to National Cabinet in early 2023. This continues work to implement priorities from the Jobs Summit.
Andric Lu becomes first Australian to complete the Allied Health Rural Generalist Program
National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Bill Shorten announced the appointment of Kurt Fearnley AO, as Chairman of the Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), with other appointees including, Dr Graeme Innes AM and Ms Maryanne Diamond AO. Minister Shorten noted there are now five people with disability on the NDIA Board. Dr Denis Napthine AO, formerly Chair (and former Victorian Liberal Premier of Victoria) has also returned as a Board Member.
Minister Shorten also announced the appointment of the National Disability Scheme (NDIS) will also have a new Chief Executive, Rebecca Falkingham PSM accepting the role. Ms Falkingham has an extensive public service background in NSW and Victoria.
Commonwealth Chief Allied Health Officer (CAHO) - Subscription service:
Aged Care - Newsletters and alerts for the aged care sector Stay up to date with newsletters and alerts for the aged care sector.
Dietitians Australia issued a media release to let people know that despite the focus on aged care quality and measures to improve the quality of food and nutrition for aged care residents, older people are still at risk of developing malnutrition a
s the new Quality Indicators for Aged Care released last week failed to include malnutrition as a new quality indicator.
“Almost one in ten residents in Australian Aged Care homes are continuing to lose weight, when they shouldn't, according to the latest data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The Aged Care Quality Indicators Report released today found 13,490 residents experienced unplanned weight loss in the Quarter ending June 2022. "In April this year, while in opposition, the now Prime Minister himself acknowledged that the Royal Commission into Aged Care found that up to 50 percent of residents are malnourished. "He said - "They're literally starving, this is a crisis in this country, and this is what this election is about."
Victorian State Election – November: health workforce gets focus.
Health, and specifically health workforce is a central contest in the upcoming Victorian State election. Genuinely substantial workforce measures are being announced by the competing major parties. The focus is very much on building the nursing and midwifery workforce, with some measures potentially improving supports for allied health, however nowhere near the extent or on the scale of nursing announcements.
With development of the Victorian Health Workforce Strategy (discussed above) the election and the agenda being progressed by National Cabinet (again – see above), allied health should be a feature of discussions and workforce initiatives. We’ll provide an update on developments in the next few weeks.
Dementia Australia has released a new audio book version of the Dementia Guide, the “go-to resource for anyone impacted by dementia”. The new audio format is free of charge and is perfect for listening on the go. The audiobook is also designed for someone living with dementia or cognitive impairment who may prefer to listen to information.
The number and variety of open consultations in SARRAHs areas of interest continues to increase. Members – please feel free to contribute to or otherwise your thoughts on any of these with us – contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employment White Paper Submissions
This week the Albanese Government released the terms of reference “for the Employment White Paper that will guide the future of Australia's skills and labour market.”
So what is a “White Paper”? In policy terms it’s a big deal, but to cite the Parliamentary Education Office:
“A ‘white paper’ is a document produced by the Australian Government on a specific topic such as defence or foreign affairs. They tend to focus on government policies and can be used to propose future laws.”
The Government indicates the White Paper
“will have an overarching focus on full employment, productivity growth, and improving women's economic participation and equality. The White Paper will look at topics including the future of work, job security, labour supply, and how we use skills and training to expand opportunities to more people in more parts of our country.”
Public submissions covering any aspects of the Terms of Reference can be lodged up until midnight 30 November 2022.
More information is available here.
The WA Parliament Legislative Council Select Committee into child development services
The WA Parliament Legislative Council Select Committee into child development services has invited SARRAH to contribute to an inquiry considering the following issues:
- the role of child development services on a child’s overall development, health and wellbeing
- how child development services are delivered in both metropolitan and regional Western Australia
- the role of specialist medical colleges, universities and other training bodies in establishing sufficient workforce pathways
- how to increase engagement with, and collaboration between, government and non-government child development services including Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations
- how child development service models and programs outside of Western Australia could be applied in Western Australia.
The closing date for submissions is Monday 24 October 2022. Further information is available here.
Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) – wants your feedback
SPA (with support from an Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Grant) have developed a website to assist people with communication disability/difficulties, their families and communication partners, and the wider community to understand the importance of communication in everyday life. The website is in draft, and SPA is inviting feedback via a survey with regards to website content, accessibility, and usefulness. Your perspectives will help develop the resource before its public launch in early 2023. You can access the survey via this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Comm_Hub_Feedback
Login details for accessing the website itself are provided within the survey. If you have any questions about the survey or the website, please contact Nichola Harris, Professional Practice manager.
Draft Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy
The Tasmanian Government is developing a third Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy, to be released by the end of this year. Following feedback to date a d first draft of the Strategy is available for comment and the Government is seeking views to help guide the Government’s focus in suicide prevention for the next five years. For more information and to have your say, visit Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy Project.
Written submissions and feedback should be provided to email@example.com by 11:59 pm on Monday 10 October 2022.
Members in Tasmania: Are you interested in joining the Tasmanian Health Senate? The Tasmanian government is inviting applications from people passionate about improving health services and patient health outcomes to be a member of the inaugural Tasmanian Health Senate. Expressions of Interest are open. The new body will bring together expertise and experience from across the State to provide advice on issues of strategic importance to the Tasmanian health system. More information is available here.
Productivity Inquiry - Interim reports
“Productivity growth is about harnessing our ingenuity to do more with the resources we already have — working smarter, not harder — and investing in the latest technology and the best ideas. The Productivity Inquiry focuses on the enablers of productivity growth in a modern, market-based, service-oriented world. The first interim report provides the broad productivity context for the exploration of productivity-enhancing reforms detailed in a series of forthcoming interim reports. You are invited to examine these interim reports.”
A skilled, professional workforce that specialises in building and maintaining people’s health, wellbeing and capacity – such as allied health professionals - might have a role here. Final submissions are due by Friday 7 October 2022.
The Department of Health and Aged Care
Tasmania - 2023-24 State Budget Community Consultation
DoHA is developing a new approach to regulating aged care that aims to be people-centred and based on best practice principles, “to ensure safe and quality aged care is delivered to older Australians”. The Department is seeking contributions that will help deliver the reforms identified by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and have released Consultation Paper No.1 – A new model for regulating aged care, which provides a high-level overview of the new model. You’re invited to provide your views and feedback through:
providing a written submission via the Consultation Hub, closing 10 October 2022; or
completing the questionnaire via the Consultation Hub, closing 10 October 2022.
Further consultation papers will be released in the coming months. Further information is available on the webpage. Queries can also be directed via email to AgedCareRegModel@Health.gov.au.
The Joint Standing Committee (JSC) on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
The NDIS JSC is conducting an inquiry into the Capability and Culture of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) - with particular reference to: a) the capability and culture of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), with reference to operational processes and procedures, and nature of staff employment; b) the impacts of NDIA capability and culture on the experiences of people with disability and NDIS participants trying to access information, support and services from the Agency; and c) any other relevant matters. More information about this inquiry is available on the committee’s website. There are two submission closing dates – 12 October 2022 and 16 December 2022. Submissions received on or before 12 October 2022 will be considered for public hearings to be held this year. Submissions received after the 12 October 2022 closing date will be considered for hearings in 2023.
The NDIS JSC is also continuing to inquire into and report on general issues around the implementation, performance, governance, administration and expenditure of the NDIS as soon as practicable after 30 June 2023. Generally submissions for this inquiry are open for the life of the Parliament; however, the committee invites submissions by 30 June 2023 for consideration in its first annual report. More information is available on the committee’s website.
For the 2023-24 State Budget provides organisations with the opportunity to make suggestions for future priority setting. The Tasmanian Government is requesting submissions focus on the following areas of key importance: supporting Tasmanians with the rising the cost of living; improvements that could be made to existing Government services or processes, including grant application and/or management; and opportunities to improve services that are directed towards vulnerable people. Submissions are due by 14 October 2022.
Towards an Aged Care Pricing Framework Consultation Paper
The Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority has invited feedback on the proposed approach to aged care pricing. This is an important development in substantiating not only what allied health services should reasonably be provided through aged care services but add focus to the gaps and variations in practice. Submissions to the Consultation Paper close at 5pm AEDT on Friday 14 October 2022. You can complete the online submission form or email your response in Word, PDF or RTE format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit is inquiring into Commonwealth grants administration, with a focus on strengthening integrity and administration of grants. The terms of reference identify funding programs for specific attention but there is also scope for general comment on process. Submissions are due by Thursday, 20 October 2022.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport is holding an Inquiry into Long COVID and Repeated COVID Infections. The Terms of Reference include the patient experience … particularly diagnosis and treatment; the experience of healthcare services providers; research; health, social, educational and economic impacts on individuals and the broader community, including for groups that face a greater risk of serious illness; impact on the overall health system; and best practice responses. Submissions close on 18 November 2022. For further information please contact the secretariat at Health.Reps@aph.gov.au.
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee is inquiring into the extent and nature of poverty in Australia, with a report due by 31 October 2023. The Terms of Reference include – to quote: (c) the impact of poverty on individuals in relation to: (i) employment outcomes, (ii) housing security, (iii) health outcomes, and (iv) education outcomes. Further detail about the scope of the inquiry is provided in the terms of reference. Submissions are sought by 3 February 2023.
SARRAH Recent Submissions 2022
Health Workforce Strategy Reform and Consultation Process - VIC Government
SARRAH contributed a written submission to the Victorian Government’s Health Workforce Strategy reform and consultation process. Written submissions are now closed, however, Input can also be provided online until Sunday 16 October. We are informed the online survey “will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and will focus on core issues, ideas, and suggestions on training pathways, roles, career planning, skill development priorities and the future ambitions of the health workforce.”
- We also provided further input to the ABS review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). The 2022 update is due for release on 22 November 2022.
- At time of writing we are also working on a submission (due today, Friday 30 September) to the Department of Health and Ageing which is developing an aged care data strategy in response to recommendations 67 and 108 of the Aged Care royal Commission. .
Copies of these submissions will be made available on the SARRAH website soon.
- Consultation on the Fifth Review of the Dental Benefits Act 2008 Panel – the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS)
- Our Healthcare Future: Advancing Tasmanian’s Health. SARRAH Submission
- Consultation Paper on the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2023-24
SARRAH Recent Media Releases 2022
- SARRAH CEO, Cath Maloney re-appointed for a further 3 years
- Ignoring Allied Health Workforce Shortages Won't Make Them Go Away
- Imagine this: health policy that also helps the economy
SARRAH is refreshing the Transition to Remote and Rural Practice Toolkit.
The SARRAH Transition to Rural Practice Toolkit was a heavily used resource available to early career and other health practitioners commencing or contemplating rural or remote practice.
The original Toolkit was funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing through its Rural Health Support, Education and Training (RHSET) program, and developed by SARRAH drawing on contributions of content experts in the field, including AH Academics, practitioners, researchers – generally SARRAH members.
The Toolkit needs to be adapted and re-developed to enable multimedia content and access via a range of devices, as used by rural and remote clinicians, students, and other users.
We need your help! How can you help?
Head here to find out more about how you can be involved.
- Investing in the toolkit.
We are offering several partnering opportunities that will give you access to the full toolkit for your staff or students, and give you the opportunity to influence the content development. More info here.
- Joining the Steering Committee
Decide on content areas and monitor the development work. Volunteer through the survey, or email SARRAH2@sarrah.org.au with your interest.
- Becoming a Toolkit Expert
Share your knowledge, your expertise, your wisdom. You can either donate your time, or SARRAH will enter into a royalty-sharing agreement with you for any modules that you contribute to. Volunteer through the survey, or email SARRAH2@sarrah.org.au with your interest.
- Telling us what you need.
Respond to our survey to ask what’s most important to you.
Join our workshop and learn the art and science of storytelling for impact.
Find your voice, tell your story, make a difference!
What will you learn from this workshop?
- An introduction to the art and science of story telling for impact and influence
- Explore the practical application of your story for advocacy conversation
- The best ways of influencing decision makers
- The best way of crafting your story you can use in your presentations
- How you can change the leadership with storytelling examples.
The workshop will be facilitated by Tanya Lehman, Leadership, Resilience and Change Consultant.
Tanya has over 24 years’ experience leading large-scale organisational change, developing leaders, and shaping complex systems. A dietitian by background, Tanya spent decade establishing Allied Health Professional workforce development, clinical governance and leadership systems across South Australia.
Following three years as Regional Director, Riverland Malee Coorong, responsible for 12 hospitals, 10 aged Care facilities, 2 medical practices, disability and community-based services, Tanya was seconded to lead clinical governance and change leadership streams of a major restructure of public health services across rural South Australia, establishing governing boards.Read more about Tanya here
REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP NOW
Contact Melodie Bat at email@example.com for a discount code.
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Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health
Level 2, 53 Blackall Street, Barton, ACT, 2600
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