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Australian healthcare
How Australian healthcare leaders want to transform their workforce

The pressure and demands on the Australian healthcare and on the workers who comprise it has never been greater.

That demand began to soar at the advent of the COVID pandemic and has been relentless ever since.

The stress on workers has ultimately resulted in many leaving the sector.

The growing pressure has been felt throughout every facet of the healthcare system.

This extends from the demand on basic GP services, through to bulging hospital emergency departments where many states have serious ramping issues.

Exacerbating the problem is an ageing and growing Australian population with an increased life expectancy.

In May 2024, Deloitte released its report into the problems and challenges of the Australian healthcare system Australia’s Health Reimagined: Voice of the Workforce.

It canvassed the thoughts and perspectives of 385 clinicians and 42 senior healthcare executives across both the public and private sectors.

It asked them what can be done to redesign, reengage, retain, reach and reform the healthcare workforce?

Their key findings should resonate with all Australian healthcare workers and anyone with designs on joining the healthcare workforce in Australia.

Satisfaction with the work environment

While workers in Australian healthcare generally have a high level of satisfaction with their jobs, work-life balance and flexibility of shifts remains a burgeoning issue.

But it is not easy to achieve while adequately meeting the needs of patients in a sector already under enormous stress because of a dearth of workers and the demands placed on those in the system.

In addition, a significant number of workers felt a pay rise would improve their feelings towards their workplace experience.

Nearly a quarter said they had considered leaving the sector in the last 12 months.

The key takeaways were:

  • 83% satisfied with their current job
  • 74% feel pay rise would improve their workplace experience
  • 65% said high work demands were the main contributor to stress within their role
  • 24% thought about quitting healthcare in the last 12 months
  • only 12% were satisfied with the flexibility of their shifts

Mental and physical health of workforce

The feedback was clear that the demands on the industry were taking a significant toll on both the physical and mental health of its workers.

This ultimately risks further attrition of the workforce, placing even greater stress on the system.

These physical and mental health issues were most significant among junior doctors just starting out in the system, risking the early abandonment of their careers.

The key takeaways were:

  • 51% said work had negatively impacted their mental health in the past 12 months
  • 45% said work had negatively impacted their physical health in the past 12 months
  • 70% of junior doctors (interns, residents and registrars) said work had negatively impacted their mental and physical health in the past 12 months

Attraction and retention of early career talent 

Attracting and retaining young doctors is critical to Australian healthcare.

Losing them early in their careers requires costly retraining of new doctors, ultimately leading to declining patient outcomes and a poorer health system.

As is reported in across many other industries, Gen Z and millennials feel little compulsion to remain with their employer if not completely satisfied.

To satisfy their needs, they are seeking:

  • clearly defined pathways for career progression
  • additional learning opportunities
  • more pay
  • more time with patients

The key takeaways were:

  • 62% with less than five years’ experience don’t feel valued by their workplace (compared with 30% overall)
  • 65% with less than two years’ experience will only stay with their employer for up to two years
  • A further 25% will only stay with their employer between a further two to five years

Leadership challenges

The report revealed generally positive experiences between clinicians and their front line managers.

Although it conceded more could be done to further improve those relationships.

But it highlighted a disconnect between clinicians and executive leadership.

This was characterised by a lack of trust and not being consulted on critical issues.

To help mitigate the problem, the report found leaders needed to invest more in relationships with clinicians, as well as listen to and act on their feedback.

The key takeaways were:

  • 60% were satisfied with their immediate leadership team in terms of their skills and capabilities
  • Only 41% agreed their executive leadership team consulted employees about critical issues that concerned staff
  • Only 37% thought the executive leadership was trustworthy

Modernising healthcare models and work demands

Being bogged down by paperwork is the cause of so much frustration among doctors.

The report uncovered a need to streamline workforce models by reanalysing what tasks can be delegated to ancillary staff or simplified by embracing new technologies.

The key takeaways were:

  • 74% think administrative tasks such as scheduling, rostering and auditing can be avoided entirely to allow doctors to focus on higher-value uses
  • 51% think that those administrative tasks can be streamlined with better systems
  • 50% think indirect patient care such as reports, phone calls, notes and ordering can be streamlined through better systems

Contact Health Recruitment Australia today

Healthcare systems around the world have all faced significant challenges in recent years.

It is how these challenges are met that is important.

Australia’s healthcare leaders are beginning to recognise the need to protect and adequately reward their workers.

It is imperative in the interests of industry retention.

They understand the desire to improve relations and communication from executive management, meet the needs of work/life balance demands through rostering flexibility and reduce the burden of paperwork by improving workplace systems.

Australia is already a great place to work for GPs seeking to enjoy all of the wonderful lifestyle advantages the country has to offer.

But if you are a working healthcare professional in Australia, it is important to ensure you align yourself with clinics and leaders who are invested in creating a better future for the workforce and its patients.

If you are a GP interested in moving to Australia to work, Health Recruitment Australia (HRA) can help connect you with those clinics.

HRA is a dedicated recruitment agency that aligns doctors of all ages with hiring clinics in Australia.

We are experts in the business and have numerous opportunities on our books for GPs seeking work across the country.

We will work closely with you to find a practice in Australia that perfectly matches the lifestyle you seek.

Talk to us about the questions you have on your mind and let us take the stress out of emigrating.

We’ll even handle all that overwhelming paperwork for you!

Why not start with an informal, no-obligation discussion with the experienced team at Health Recruitment Australia? Contact us.

Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!

 

Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!