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Rural Support Service, Rural Health Workforce Strategy

In 2018, an election commitment was made to develop a rural health workforce plan to ensure the sustainability of rural health services. With the Government committed to $20 million over a four-year period, a Rural Health Workforce Strategy (RHWS) was developed, supplemented by six comprehensive rural workforce plans that span all major rural health groups. Implementation activity derived from these plans is occurring across the six regional LHNs (rLHNs).

  • SA Rural Medical Workforce Plan 2019–24

  • Rural SA Ambulance Service Workforce Plan 2020–25

  • SA Rural Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Plan 2021–26

  • SA Rural Allied and Scientific Health Workforce Plan 2021–26

  • SA Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan 2021–26

  • SA Rural Oral Health Workforce Plan 2021-26

The stated objective of the RHWS is “to develop a strong, available and sustainable rural health workforce who can work in partnership with consumers and their families to provide effective and appropriate rural health care”. The RHWS three strategic priorities were:

1. Building a skilled workforce

2. New and sustainable models for rural health care

3. Developing a collaborative and coordinated health system.

The evaluation done by Health Q Consulting assessed the effectiveness and appropriateness of the RHWS in supporting workforce attraction, recruitment and training, with a focus on the:

  • Process for governance, development and implementation of the RHWS,

  • Current implementation of the RHWS and Workforce Plans,

  • Gaps in current RHWS and Workforce Plans,

  • Future sustainability and relevance of the RHWS and Workforce Plans, and

  • Recommendations for consideration.

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