“The announcement today of the new Health Workforce Advisory Committee is welcome news for senior doctors and the wider
health sector,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.
“A major tragedy of the failed market experiment of the 1990s in the health system was the ignoring of the importance of
workforce planning and development. This was because of the absurd belief that market forces would sort things out. We
are now paying for that major error with serious doctor and nursing shortages.”
“The composition of the committee appears broad based across what is a wide and diverse sector. The appointment of
Professor Andrew Hornblow as chairperson is most welcome given his considerable experience, ability and insight.”
“We are concerned however with the under-funding. An annual budget of $450,000 for the whole health workforce is
inadequate because it will only provide for a couple of policy analysts plus secretarial and administrative support.
This contrasts poorly with Australia where the committee is much better resourced and only focuses on the medical
“The health workforce committee is a positive step in the right direction but it would be shame if its potential was
frustrated because of underfunding,” concluded Mr Powell.