Rural Allied and Scientific Health Workforce Plan

The SA Rural Allied and Scientific Health Workforce Plan is one of the workforce plans developed as part of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy. It has been developed to guide allied and scientific health workforce planning in regional, rural and remote South Australia over the next five years, from 2021–2026.

The plan recognises the importance of the regional allied and scientific health workforce to regional and rural communities and acknowledges the complexity and diversity of the allied and scientific health workforce and the settings in which they work. It identifies contemporary strategies to ensure South Australia can attract, recruit and retain a sustainable allied and scientific health workforce, including through recommendations on innovative allied health led models of care, greater collaboration across sectors and harnessing the leadership potential of the highly skilled allied and scientific health workforce.

The SA Rural Allied and Scientific Health Workforce plan was developed under the guidance of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy Steering Committee, chaired by Dr Hendrika Meyer, Chief Clinical Advisor, Rural Support Service.

The plan was led by Julianne O’Connor, Principal Consultant, Allied Health, Rural Support Services, with advice and support from the Rural Health Workforce Strategy Allied Health Sub-committee, chaired by the former Chief Allied and Scientific Health Officer, SA Health, Ms Catherine Turnbull. It was developed in close consultation with rural and metropolitan clinicians, consumers, Aboriginal communitycontrolled health organisations, peak bodies and professional associations.

Following the release of the consultation draft plan in February 2021, a series of face-to-face and virtual consultation sessions were held across regional and metropolitan local health networks and statewide services. Overall, 131 people attended the consultation sessions, and 24 written feedback responses were received. Feedback focused on the important role allied and scientific health professionals play in improving the health outcomes of our rural communities, the importance of specialist skill development in areas such as aged care, mental health and rural generalism, the need to skillfully market rural allied and scientific health careers, and the importance of appropriately incentivising rural practice across all allied and scientific health professions. These themes have been incorporated in the final plan.

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