16 September 2023




The Albanese Labor Government is committing to making sure that our hard-working and highly educated health workforce can work to the full extent of their skills, experience and training.

Submissions are being invited to an independent review that will explore the opportunities and obstacles to Australia’s health professionals working to the full scope of their practice.

Led by Professor Mark Cormack, the Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce Review was a recommendation of the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce.

The review will analyse the available evidence relating to health professionals working to their full scope of practice in Australia’s primary health care system, or being prevented from doing so.

Extensive stakeholder consultation and engagement will inform the review, with findings to be provided to the Australian Government in the second half of 2024.

Supported by technology, innovation and multidisciplinary teams, health professionals working to their full capability can provide significant benefits to both patients and the health care system.

Being able to work at their full potential is also important for the professional and personal development of health care workers – and to the ability of the workforce to attract and retain workers.

Making sure Australia optimises its health workforce across a stretched primary care sector will improve health access and equity across all communities – including regional, rural and remote areas.

Professor Cormack is a highly accomplished health system and public policy executive. He was appointed Honorary Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) College of Health and Medicine in 2020 and has recently established the National Centre for Health Workforce Studies at ANU. This follows a long public service career including as the CEO of Health Workforce Australia.

His professional background also covers early work as an allied health professional, and health services manager. Professor Cormack has served as Chief Executive (ACT Health) and Deputy Secretary (Commonwealth Departments of Health, Veterans’ Affairs and Home Affairs).

Stakeholders are invited to lodge submissions to the review by 16 October 2023.

More information is available here: https://consultations.health.gov.au/pccd-communication/scope-of-practice-review/

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said that for too long, too many of our health workforce have not been able to work to their full potential.

“Whether it is nurses, pharmacists or allied health professionals, in a global health workforce shortage we need everyone working as close as possible to the top of their scope,” he said.

“The review team, led by Professor Mark Cormack, will consult widely with stakeholders and analyse the available evidence before providing its recommendations to the Government.

“This is the first of many opportunities for input into this important review.”

Mr Neumann recently hosted a regional health roundtable in Fernvale with Federal Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health Emma McBride where there was a strong focus on health workforce challenges, including in allied health.

“This health workforce review is an opportunity to make sure we optimise our health professionals in regional, rural and remote areas.

“So, I’m encouraging local stakeholders to make a submission to the review addressing this issue, including stakeholders from the Somerset Region and surrounding areas.”