Academic journal article Australian Health Review

Change Is the Only Constant

Academic journal article Australian Health Review

Change Is the Only Constant

Article excerpt

'Change' is a word we hear a lot these days, especially when it comes to fundamental reforms in the Australian health industry. As this issue goes to print there is much discussion around the national health reform agenda, in particular the recently announced National Health and Hospitals Network. Over the next 12 months the merits and drawbacks of the reforms will be discussed and debated by politicians, health professionals, economists and the general public. No matter your political leaning or understanding of the health system, the proposed changes will, if implemented, represent significant change from the way health is currently delivered, administered and funded. Health professionals need to understand that this reform is but one of an ongoing change cycle that will continue to affect health and other aspects of our society and lives. At this time we also see the establishment of Health Workforce Australia. This national body has been established to 'produce more effective, streamlined and integrated clinical training arrangements'. In time, this body will help drive fundamental clinical training initiatives that feed into health reform more systematically. Finally, the move to national registration and accreditation often health professional groups, representing the majority of clinical health professionals, drives change through integration, shared governance principles, ease of worker mobility and providing greater community safeguards. Whereas these three examples represent significant bodies of work in their own right, more importantly they arc major pieces of the health reform puzzle that compliment each other. Without any of these projects, health reform in this country would be pedestrian at best.

This issue sees a wide range of papers centred on gaining a better understanding of health data, chronic disease management, the role and functions of different health professional groups, workforce issues, and the development of staff through education and teaching. …

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