CEO Message - May 2023

31 May 2023

Blog Images3

​I am pleased to announce that on 28 February we welcomed Dr Kristine Battye PhD as director of Health Workforce Queensland. Dr Battye is a Director and Senior Consultant at KBC Australia which is a health and community services planning and evaluation consulting company focused on improving access to quality services – no matter where someone lives. We have been working with Kris since 2001 and she joined us for her first board meeting in April.

The Federal Budget was announced on 9 May and it included a significant investment in strengthening Medicare measures to revamp Primary Health Care. We are looking forward to receiving more details on the investment to support International Medical Graduates via a Pre-Fellowship program and the rollout of a number of additional scholarships for the Primary Health Care workforce. The budget included several initiatives that support enhanced Primary Health Care systems, focused training supports and service delivery strategies. It was pleasing to see an increase in funds for programs and services for First Nations communities. The budget also included a $3.5 billion investment to triple bulk billing incentives and it was reassuring to note that the bulk billing incentive for rural and remote areas will be at a higher rate than metropolitan areas.

The second year of GROW Rural North Queensland was held 28-30 April and it was another unforgettable event. I’d like to acknowledge and thank community members, students, the HWQ team and event partner NQPHN for your unwavering commitment and support in making this end-to-end health workforce solution engaging and meaningful. 

We will be selecting a new cohort for GROW Rural South West Queensland scheduled to run in October. Information sessions were held earlier this month and applications open tomorrow! This is a valuable opportunity for students and communities alike. 

Last week we acknowledged National Sorry Day, on the 26 May, to recognise the strength and struggles of many thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by forcible removal. We all must learn from the injustices of the past.

27 May marks the 1967 Referendum, where more than 90 per cent of Australians voted to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in the Census. This year we will have an opportunity to participate in another referendum, when we vote on the Voice to Parliament. How will you vote? You can learn more about the Voice here.

We are currently celebrating National Reconciliation Week, which runs through until 3 June, by participating in both external events and office activities. Thank you to the Reconciliation Working Group for helping us plan actions we can take to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The RDAQ Conference is coming up next week and, as conference partner, the HWQ Training and Events team have been working tirelessly to make this a brilliant event. The team will be there managing the family program, attending sessions and on the HWQ trade booth. HWQ will sponsor the annual Workforce Breakfast and we are very much looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new acquaintances. See you there!

Chris Mitchell
CEO, Health Workforce Queensland

Click below to read more from the latest Health Works enewsletter.

Health Works #23