The lack of allied health data in Australia is a significant concern. There is currently no consistent allied health data collection, severely limiting the effectiveness of workforce planning and investment by governments and other stakeholders to meet the service needs of Australians.
AHPA strongly supports work to improve allied health data collection, including comprehensive workforce data, and data on usage and outcomes of services. A more complete picture of the allied health workforce and its contribution to care systems will help support policy development and planning.
Better data will help with the development of a national allied health workforce strategy with a coordinated, multi-sector approach. This should include the development of a career pipeline for allied health practitioners in rural and remote settings, where training health professionals locally is an important factor in keeping them there.
Meeting the needs of Australia’s growing population, particularly with increased care requirements for chronic and complex health conditions, will require significant recruitment and retention strategies. The allied health sector in particular needs flexible clinical education models to develop its workforce to meet these growing needs.