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Health Workforce Needs Assessment

About the Health Workforce Needs Assessment

Providing an appropriate and sustainable primary health care workforce is most challenging in rural communities. These communities are experiencing inadequate access to comprehensive health care due to factors such as clinician shortage, poor workforce retention and changes to health service facilities.

RDN’s annual Health Workforce Needs Assessment (HWNA) articulates the current state of the primary health workforce in rural NSW to meet current and future community health workforce needs. The HWNA is a critical component of designing and activating activities to improve sustained access to essential primary health care.

The HWNA identifies the major workforce needs and activities to support improvements in three priority areas:

  • Access — improving access and continuity of access to essential primary health care
  • Quality— building health workforce capability
  • Future planning — growing the sustainability of the health workforce


The process

The HWNA is a collaborative process. At all stages of the assessment process RDN engages with the State Health Workforce Stakeholder Group including representatives from:

  • Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AHMRC)
  • NSW Ministry of Health
  • GP Synergy (Regional Training Organisation)
  • Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
  • Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP)
  • Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS)
  • Regional Training Hubs
  • Primary Health Networks (PHN) with a rural footprint
  • NSW Ambulance

and Regional Workforce Stakeholder groups for each PHN:

  • PHN representatives
  • Local Health Districts (LHDs)
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs)
  • Regional Training Hubs

RDN is deeply grateful for the input from these stakeholder groups in advising and contributing to the development of each HWNA. 

RDN also offers sincerest thanks to GPs and practice managers who have contributed to the annual health workforce surveys that inform the Needs Assessment each year, and to the 70+ individuals who contributed to the 2018-19 HWNA through the interview process. 


HWNA reports

RDN submits a full and detailed report of Needs Assessment findings to the Department of Health in February of each year. RDN also produces a public summary document of the approaches and key findings of each Needs Assessment, which can be accessed directly from the links below.

HWNA Report 2018-19

The HWNA Report 2018-19 focuses on the health workforce needs of allied health professionals working in the rural primary health care context and provides an update to the General Practitioner (GP) workforce HWNA Report 2017-18.

Read the 2018-19 summary report

HWNA Report 2017-2018

The HWNA Report 2017-18 focuses on the health workforce needs of General Practitioners. 

Read the 2017-18 summary report