The never ending road: Improving, adapting and refining a needs-based model to estimate future general practitioner requirements in two Australian states

Caroline O. Laurence, Troy Heywood, Janice Bell, Kaye Atkinson, Jonathan Karnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Health workforce planning models have been developed to estimate the future health workforce requirements for a population whom they serve and have been used to inform policy decisions.

Objectives. To adapt and further develop a need-based GP workforce simulation model to incorporate current and estimated geographic distribution of patients and GPs.

Methods. A need-based simulation model that estimates the supply of GPs and levels of services required in South Australia (SA) was adapted and applied to the Western Australian (WA) workforce. The main outcome measure was the differences in the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs supplied and required from 2013 to 2033.

Results. The base scenario estimated a shortage of GPs in WA from 2019 onwards with a shortage of 493 FTE GPs in 2033, while for SA, estimates showed an oversupply over the projection period. The WA urban and rural models estimated an urban shortage of GPs over this period. A reduced international medical graduate recruitment scenario resulted in estimated shortfalls of GPs by 2033 for WA and SA. The WA-specific scenarios of lower population projections and registrar work value resulted in a reduced shortage of FTE GPs in 2033, while unfilled training places increased the shortfall of FTE GPs in 2033.

Conclusions. The simulation model incorporates contextual differences to its structure that allows within and cross jurisdictional comparisons of workforce estimations. It also provides greater insights into the drivers of supply and demand and the impact of changes in workforce policy, promoting more informed decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Practice
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • General practice
  • health service needs and demands
  • policy
  • decision making

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