Summit to drive solutions to bolster WA’s healthcare workforce

  • WA Health Workforce Summit brings together health leaders to work on solutions to attract doctors and nurses into WA’s health system
  • Over 20,000 nurses and midwives and 6,800 doctors to work in WA’s health system by 2033
  • Health Minister to hold additional roundtables in other key areas including allied health, mental health, Aboriginal health, paediatrics, and junior doctors
  • Part of the Cook Government’s comprehensive healthcare workforce recruitment plan

Today the Health Minister held a WA Health Workforce Summit as part of the State Government’s long-term plan to address workforce challenges, revealing over 20,000 nurses and 6,800 doctors will work in WA’s health system by 2033.

The Summit brings together industry leaders including peak health bodies, unions, and professional colleges, to provide input into a 10-year workforce strategy aimed at continuing to grow our health workforce, amid global workforce challenges.

Key issues for discussion include workforce culture, attraction and retention, the clinical workforce pipeline, attracting international recruits to WA, and promoting the public health system as an employer of choice.

Just like healthcare services all over the world, WA is experiencing workforce challenges and latest analysis suggests over 20,000 nurses and midwives and 6,800 doctors will work in WA’s public health system by 2033. This represents a nearly one quarter increase on current staffing levels to meet the demands of the State’s growing population.

Participants were also asked to consider WA’s ageing population and the expectation that almost a fifth (19%) of medical specialists Australia-wide will reach retirement age in the next 10 years.

Over the next few months expert clinical groups will join roundtable discussions to consider areas of high need. These include allied health, paediatrics, junior medical officers and doctors in training, mental health, primary health, and Aboriginal health.

The Summit is part of the Cook Government’s comprehensive recruitment efforts underway, including more than $28 million of new attraction and retention initiatives funded through the 2023-24 State Budget.

As stated by Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:

“WA’s public health system will need to employ at least one quarter more doctors, nurses and midwives than it does today to meet the needs of our growing and ageing population into the future, which is why today’s Summit is so important.

“The Cook Government is already undertaking a comprehensive suite of recruitment activities, but we know there is more to be done and we are calling on all stakeholders with levers to pull to help us.

“Today’s Summit brings together leaders to discuss issues impacting medical, nursing and midwifery workforce, and to propose collaborative solutions as part of the development of a 10-year workforce strategy.

“Bolstering our State’s health and mental health workforce to ensure it meets the needs of the community into the future is a key priority for our Government and for National Cabinet.”

/Public Release. View in full here.