About the strategy
The National Medical Workforce Strategy 2021–2031 identifies achievable, practical actions to build a sustainable highly trained medical workforce.
The strategy aims to structure and support our workforce in a way that ensures we can meet the current and emerging health needs of Australians. Health Ministers endorsed the strategy in December 2021.
Why it is important
The strategy provides recommendations to address some of the issues that medical practitioners and consumers face, including:
- changing models of care, including the impact of technology
- the uneven distribution of trainees and medical practitioners across locations and specialties
- increasing pressures and demands affecting the mental health and wellbeing of the medical workforce
- the underrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical practitioners across the workforce
- specialty training numbers not matching current or predicted community need
- lower access to health care services in regional, rural and remote areas
- a complicated career pathway for medical students and junior doctors
- a lack of data, planning and coordination across governments in the way we train, recruit and support doctors.
Goals of the strategy
The strategy aims to address medical workforce issues by exploring actions that fall under the 5 key priorities of:
- collaborating on medical workforce planning and design
- rebalancing the supply and distribution of doctors across specialties and locations
- reforming medical training pathways
- building the generalist capability of the medical workforce
- building a flexible and responsive medical workforce.
The strategy also includes 3 overarching contextual priorities that aim to:
- grow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical workforce and improve cultural safety
- adapt to, and better support, new models of care
- improve doctor wellbeing.
Who we work with
In developing and implementing the strategy, we are working with:
- the Medical Workforce Reform Advisory Committee (MWRAC)
- state and territory governments.
To make sure we consider a wide variety of views, and understand all the issues, we consult widely with stakeholders, including:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies
- Australian Government and state and territory health departments
- clinicians and medical administrators
- community and consumer representatives
- medical associations and peak bodies
- medical regulators
- universities and medical schools
- medical specialist colleges
- rural, regional and remote clinicians
- Rural Workforce Agencies
- Primary Health Networks
- public and private hospitals
- student representatives.
For more, see:
- National Medical Workforce Strategy scoping framework
- Consultation webinar – 17 February 2020
- Consultation webinar – 5 March 2020.