Workforce IconWorkforce: Clinical Workforce

OBJECTIVES

  • To facilitate uptake of biomedical prevention;
  • To broaden the base of clinicians able to facilitate HIV prevention, testing and treatment in the community; and
  • To support and maintain clinicians with a specialist interest in HIV medicine, including HIV trained and accredited s100 highly specialised drugs prescribers.

CURRENT ISSUES

  • The HIV clinical workforce is vital in facilitating access to timely prevention, testing and treatment among people at risk of and living with HIV. Clinicians are uniquely placed to support individuals to assess personal risk, undergo regular testing, make informed decisions about prevention strategies and engage in treatment and care;
  • As such, sustaining and expanding the HIV clinical workforce is an essential element of achieving our shared goal of ending HIV transmission;
  • The workforce is relatively small, and includes highly skilled and specialised HIV clinicians, general practitioners, sexual health physicians, and nurses;
  • Given the size, diversity and geographic dispersal of the workforce, it is vital that initiatives targeting the workforce are coordinated and strategic; and that mainstream agencies (such as Primary Health Networks) are assisted to take up an appropriate role in a way that complements rather than duplicates efforts;
  • In addition, modest investment in continuing initiatives such as timely and responsive policies and guidelines and clinical advice around HIV testing, HIV Pre- and Post- Exposure Prophylaxis and HIV management will provide the backbone to state- and territory-based initiatives to upskill the clinical workforce;
  • There is also a need to explore new models of care, particularly to facilitate access in areas where there is a shortage of medical practitioners and where there may be other barriers to engagement or retention in care (such as low levels of knowledge, or high levels of stigma and discrimination);

PROPOSED ACTIVITIES

  • Develop backbone resources (such as curriculum, training materials and clinical information) that support local workforce development initiatives
  • Conduct national workforce development activities that facilitates information exchange and provides education, training and support
  • Develop nationally standardised policies and guidelines including the National HIV Testing Policy, Pre- and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, and treatment and management guidance and guidelines.

IMPACT

  • Improved knowledge and capacity of the health workforce to contribute to ending HIV transmission
  • Increased information exchange without unnecessary replication of existing effort.

COST-BENEFIT

  • Improved primary and secondary prevention and care
  • Increased access points to prevention and care services
  • Expansion of the range of health care providers able to contribute to ending HIV transmission.

ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT

$350,000 per annum