Healing hands, Queensland unveils $1.7 billion to grow healthcare workforce

  • Queensland launches workforce strategy to address healthcare worker shortage.
  • $1.7 billion investment to grow frontline doctors, nurses and allied health staff.
  • Strategy focuses on retaining current staff, attracting new talent and implementing innovative healthcare models.

The Miles Government today launched the Health Workforce Strategy for Queensland to 2032 and a significant funding boost to help grow, sustain and develop the state’s healthcare workforce.

The Strategy, backed by a $1.7 billion investment, acknowledges the tireless work of Queensland’s health workforce in both clinical and non-clinical settings.

Shaped by data, research and input from nearly 800 stakeholders across 160 organisations, it outlines more than 30 initiatives to address workforce challenges.

Queensland’s healthcare system is experiencing ongoing pressure. A growing and ageing population, coupled with an increase in service usage due to less people using private health care and a contraction of some private services into public hospitals, is creating significant demand. This, combined with rising costs, is impacting the public hospital system.

In recognition of the state’s growing healthcare needs, the 2024-25 State Budget allocates more than $1 billion (budget to budget) extra for frontline workforce growth.

This translates to an additional 700 doctors, 2,600 nurses and midwives, and 1,000 allied health staff across budgets.

The strategy aims to expand the entire workforce by 45,000 people by 2032. This includes a projected 46.4 per cent increase in the nursing and midwifery workforce, with 19,000 more on the frontline.

Queensland also anticipates needing almost 6,000 more doctors and 1,900 more paramedics.

The $1.7 billion investment will tackle workforce challenges in three key areas:

  • Supporting and retaining the current workforce through a total investment of $387.76 million.
  • Building new talent pipelines and attracting talent through a total investment of $96.85 million.
  • Adapt and implement new ways to deliver healthcare through a total investment of $182 million.

This investment also prioritises staff and patient safety. A $36 million commitment will increase security personnel across hospitals and health services. This includes adding up to 70 full time equivalent (FTE) positions and 12 ambassador roles (FTE).

The government will continue implementing security enhancements like CCTV installation, swipe card access, duress alarms, body worn cameras for security staff, and other measures.

Recognising the importance of a diverse workforce, $30.8 million will be used to grow the First Nations talent pipeline. This includes initiatives recognise and support existing First Nations healthcare workers, along with adapting work practices to deliver more equitable services.

Inclusion is also a key priority. More than $2 million will create designated employment opportunities for people with a disability and deliver training focused on disability awareness throughout the healthcare system.

A full breakdown of initiatives funded under the Health Workforce Strategy for Queensland 2032 is available here.

As stated by Premier Steven Miles:

“Queensland is a growing state and I know that means we’ll need more healthcare workers than ever, so I am delivering a workforce strategy.

“In my first budget as Premier, I am doing what matters for Queensland.

“We have worked with the healthcare staff who are at the coalface, to ensure this strategy addresses what they need.”

As stated by Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick:

“When I was last Health Minister we had 380,000 presentations to emergency departments in a quarter, and now it’s 600,0000.

“We truly are seeing unprecedented levels of presentations at our hospitals.

“To deal with that demand, our Government is giving doctors $40,000 to train as GPs and a range of other initiatives to deliver nurses, midwives and allied health professionals our health system needs.

“The strategy will also improve workforce retention and create the innovative workforce models that modern frontline health workers demand.”

As stated by the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Service and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman:

“Queensland’s population is growing, and so is their need for exceptional healthcare.

“Over the next decade, we’ll need more skilled professionals to meet that demand.

“To ensure Queenslanders continue to receive the best care, we need to invest in our healthcare workforce. That’s why we’re building a strong talent pipeline to find, retain, and train the best people.

“Our biggest healthcare challenge isn’t medical advancements – it’s ensuring we have the skilled workforce to deliver them.

“This strategy is a roadmap to a thriving healthcare system with the people it needs to succeed.

“Queensland’s healthcare system is a national leader, but we can’t rest on our laurels.

“This workforce strategy is our commitment to growing a future-proof healthcare system with the talent to deliver cutting-edge care.

“From cutting-edge specialists to dedicated support staff, Queensland’s healthcare system requires a diverse range of skills.

“This strategy ensures we have the right people in place to meet the evolving needs of Queenslanders.”

/Public Release. View in full here.