Removing scope of practice barriers will support and encourage greater self-care

The Australian Self-Care Alliance (Alliance) welcomes the announcement, by the Albanese Government, of the Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce Review, highlighting its potential to disrupt the siloed delivery of health care and services that impedes greater self-care, and a healthier future for all Australians. 

If properly supported, self-care can be a game changer for public health, with research showing that health consumers empowered to take greater ownership of their journey achieve better health outcomes1, and, on average, incur lower health service costs2.

The Alliance firmly believes that investment in accessible, person-centred, integrated care models – combined with an increased focus on empowerment of individuals to protect and improve their health, health equity and collaboration – is essential if the Australian Government is to ensure the long-term sustainability of healthcare funding and improve health and wellbeing for all Australians.
As John Bell AM, Chair of the Australian Self-Care Alliance, explains:

“It is important to remember that the benefits of Australia’s world class health care system have not been evenly distributed. Australians with restricted access to healthcare services and professionals, either by geography and/or financial resources, continue to disproportionately live in poor health.”

“Greater utilisation and integration of all our primary care assets and resources, through funding and practice models that allow all highly qualified and trusted health care professionals to work to their full scope of practice, will generate a national interdisciplinary pool of healthcare providers with strengthened competencies in delivering self-care education and engagement; while also ensuring Australians have access to the appropriate level of care for their ailment.”

“Furthermore, it opens the door to place-based and community-led initiatives based on the specific needs and challenges of a community or vulnerable health population.”

The Alliance looks forward to contributing to the work of the Cormack Review, with a focus on improving all Australians’ access to, and engagement with, primary health care and services; and addressing the current gap in services between primary and emergency care, which has resulted in an unsustainable over utilisation of emergency care and hospital services for conditions and ailments that are better suited to being addressed through a GP, nurse practitioner, or community pharmacist.

1 PricewaterhouseCoopers: The future of health in Australia – 

2 Hibbard, J.H., J. Greene, and V. Overton, Patients with Lower Activation Associated with Higher Costs; Delivery Systems Should Know Their Patients’ ‘Scores’. Health Affairs, 2013. 32(2): p. 216-222. – Brady, T.J., L. Murphy, B.J. O’Colmain, D. Beauchesne, B. Daniels, M. Greenberg, M. House, and D. Chervin, A Meta-Analysis of Health Status, Health Behaviors, and Health Care Utilization Outcomes of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. Prev Chronic Dis, 2013. 10: p. 120112

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