7305MED Health Workforce

7305MED Health Workforce

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7305MED Health Workforce

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7305MED Health Workforce

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Course Code: 7305MED
University: Griffith University

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Country: Australia

Question:
Health workforce shortages in rural Australia remain despite some essential workforce initiatives in recent years. Previous research has focused on identifying the characteristics of healthcare practitioners who choose to ‘go rural’, however, there is limited research on what hinders healthcare practitioners from choosing rural practice, how they make decisions going to rural areas to work, and what could be changed to increase participation in rural healthcare practice. Choose one health care discipline (e.g. medical, nursing, dental or allied health provide an evidence-based essay detailing the issues and possible strategies to address these shortages from ONE of these disciplines. You must concentrate a large part of your essays on the identified issues and strategies that could be deployed to attract the healthcare discipline you have chosen to rural practice.
Answer:

Introduction:
Undersupply and mal-distribution of healthcare professionals’ health care professionals in rural areas is a constant global problem. Despite available resources and facilities, Australia is not free from the obligation of a shortage of health professionals for better health. The imbalanced ratio between the health care and availability of health care professional gradually worsen over the next 20years. In Australia, the shortage of healthcare professionals and the effect of unbalanced distribution are worst in remote and rural areas that, in turn, deteriorate the health of the entire population compared to the metropolitan cousins. Solving this problem in growing demand for healthcare professionals at the same time equally distribute them in practice becomes the critical challenge for Australia. On a different note, the requirements of healthcare professionals are increasing with an increase in population, an increase in age and health issues. However, a considerate number of health care professionals refuse to go to rural areas due to lack of technology, backdated infrastructure and lack of knowledge in the population and health safety. Therefore, the morbidity rate is exceptionally high in these remote areas. Hence, this paper will illustrate the hindrance of healthcare practitioners from choosing rural practice, the decision making of doctors for going to rural areas, Approaches to increase participation in rural health care practice in following paragraphs.
Hindrance of healthcare practitioners from choosing rural practice:
Australians who live in a rural and remote part of Australia are experiencing diverse health issues day by day. While the health status of Australia is improving in various areas, a massive gap remains in the healthcare services for providing service to the individuals who live in remote areas. The latest report on the healthcare from the council of Australian government suggested that a considerable number of individuals admitted in the hospital for preventable diseases are from a remote area as compared to metropolitan cities. A global health education released module which undertook an initiative to resolve the problem related to the shortage of healthcare professionals and misdistributions of them. During the study, it was reported that a considerate number of doctors refuse to go to the rural areas due to certain issues that also hinders the improvement of rural health (Boadi-Kusi, Kyei,  Okyere,  & Abu, 2018). Small town doctors often have several potentials and acts accordingly as local GP, medical officer and after hour’s responder. However, still, they receive the paycheck with fewer zeros in it. After working in diverse areas of health practices, the amount of money they are getting are they could hardly make end meets. Therefore, in a majority of the cases, medical practitioners prefer to stay in the city hospitals with more incentives. In the competition of the business field, hospital industries see it as an opportunity to make a profit and retain doctors for the sake of health care (Ono, Schoenstein, & Buchan, 2016). Besides, the majority of medical practices acquired numerous health care skills for providing care. However, lack of infrastructure and proper equipment in rural areas for monitoring the type of disease or any health condition relevant to disease make doctors impaired in applying their skills. The world health organization, international development program, highlighted that many hospital authorities is reluctant to take the initiative for such challenges. Therefore, the morbidity rate exponentially increases in remote and rural areas of Australia. In the rural area, approximately 77% of the children are underweight, 56 % of the population is suffering from chronic disease and morbidity rate increase every year by  2.5 times as compared to the previous year (Scott, Kiser, Park, Grandy, & Joyner, 2017). Due to such an increase of health issues, this marginal land of health issues and low productivity encourages the doctors and other medical practitioners to migrate to the superior part of the city leaving the burden behind. Moreover, a significant number of individuals lack the knowledge of health issues and personal hygiene. Consequently, it affected the health of the entire population along with the doctors who live in rural areas for the sake of giving health care. According to the recent researches of aboriginal areas, huge numbers of people in the marginal land of Australia live without the facilities of disposing of garbage and dirt, water drainage. Due to lack of knowledge and precaution, they breathe polluted air. Hence, many health care professionals experienced chronic disease due to the lack of facilities for specific health issues (Wisaijohn et al., 2015). Due to polluted air and water, a considerate number of doctors suffer from cholera and airborne diseases which are not curable due to lack of advanced technology. With concentrating poverty in those places, low health status and the high burden of illness, the marginal land gradually diminishes.
In the metropolitan cities also experience such problem, but development program and higher authorities of the community focus on the policies to address the issue. In rural areas, the authorities are reluctant to make any policies which improve primary health care system and provide protection to the population from chronic diseases. Thus, the healthcare practitioners refuse to work in rural areas and work for the rural health. They tend to work in metropolitan cities with adequate luxury and advance technology to enhance skills. Moreover, due to lack of knowledge and technology, the individuals are reluctant about their health conditions and socio-demographic differences make them apprehensive to talk about their area of concern to the assigned practitioner (Castillo, Y. A., & Cartwright, 2018). In marginal people hold onto their cultural beliefs and tradition, so they are reluctant to their health and find it offensive if medical practitioner takes initiative to provide care against their traditions. Hence, individuals with health issues avoid medical practitioner and this, in turn, increase the global burden of morbidity. It has the psychological impact on individuals as well. Those medical practitioners, who work in rural areas with lack of access to the technology, have experience emotional distress, depression that disrupts the psychological wellbeing of individuals. Therefore, vast numbers of doctors prefer to stay in the metropolitan part of the country compared to the marginal area of Australia.
Decision making of doctors for going to the rural area for work:
An unequal distribution of healthcare practitioners and the growing burden of the disease leads to the unfavorable consequences of health care and the burden of disease. The part of the solution relies on the decision making of doctors and attracting the medical practitioners to the remote communities which is a challenge in the present days. A cross-sectional study suggested that initiatives of stakeholders make changes in the remote area attract the doctors to work in those marginal areas (Ono, Schoenstein, & Buchan, 2014). In few cases, medical practitioners are forced to go to the rural area for serving the care because of signature of agreement of specific time frame or hierarchical pressure. In other cases, few numbers of medical practitioners migrate to the rural area because of their commitments or medical practices. Governor body has massive influence in the decision making of medical practitioners to work in rural areas (Gurung, Derrett, Gauld, & Hill, 2017). The city medical colleges implemented courses in the education system to handle the challenges arises in the rural areas. Therefore, it prepares them for facing challenges and shows the direction to overcome the burden of the rural regions. Few randomized trail control based on the semi-structured questioner reported that approximately 71% of the medical students answered that medical schools prepared them for challenges in the rural areas (Malatzky, Mitchell, & Bourke, 2018). These medical schools are well equipped for preparing the medical students for the job of serving rural people. Therefore, in recent days, huge numbers of doctors are willing to take the job as the medical practitioner in the rural area for reducing the global burden.
Approaches to increase participation in rural health care practice:
Providing the adequate workforce in any situation involves the two huge equations such as demand and supply. When the demand of medical practitioner is increasing gradually concerning the current health conditions, the availability of the health profession is decreasing slowly. To ensure the adequate medical professionals for marginal areas of Australia, Australian government must involve themselves in designing strategies and policies for attracting workforce of health professionals to go to rural areas (Zubaran, & Douglas, 2014). Health promotion in rural areas and prevention of health issues should consider as the significant investment for the participation of workforce and economic productivity for the better outcome. Government bodies should design proper legislation and policies in healthcare centres to attract the professional to the rural area (Hisham et al., 2016). General practice incentive program must be implemented in practice for the existing crisis in the rural area. The government should provide support to the incentive programmers’ in health care in which clinicians may receive more zeros in their paycheck, and the multidisciplinary team should be formed in rural areas. Further opportunity for professional practices should be provided to the medical practitioner without compromising the quality of the care and outcomes (Castillo & Cartwright, 2018). The priorities should be given to many areas of health concern such as basic knowledge about the health issues, personal hygiene to avoid health issues. In order to attract doctors to the remote area technologies such as electron medical report, technologies for monitoring health issues should be installed by health care centers with the collaboration of governor bodies. The medical school should make courses for education system so that they will be aware of current crisis of rural area and strategies to overcome such crisis. Moreover, agricultural scholarship and facilities should be provided to the individuals who will be willing to take the job of medical practitioner in rural places (Verani et al., 2016). The scholarship will attract a massive number of medical students and medical practitioner for taking the job and in turn, will reduce the global burden. Australia cannot meet the demand of health professionals the medical schools must implement health undergraduate rural placement for the student and provide facilities to the student for taking the job as a medical practitioner. Retention of health care professions will be improved if the air pollution and water pollution is prevented in the rural areas so that the health care professionals remain healthy during the delivery of care (Matsea, Ryke,  & Weyers, 2018). Moreover, retention of health forces strategies should be different from the recruitment strategies. Since these areas are located outskirts of the country, transportation is difficult for the majority of the healthcare individuals (Legrand, Minary,  & Briancon, 2018). Consequently, the healthcare individuals migrate to the metropolitan cities as health professionals. Therefore, to retain them, the transport allowances should be provided. The supply of health care will be increased with great flexibility of opportunity for professional practices in the rural area and changes in the responsibility and relationship between health professionals (Nowrouzi et al., 2015). The Australian government should provide the opportunity to the medical students to explore their specialties and potentials to work in a rural area. Attractive work design and health worker support able to retain the workforce and doctors will be able to take the job in the rural area.
Conclusion:
Thus it can be concluded that despite available resources and facilities, Australia is not free from the obligation of a shortage of health professionals for better health. In Australia, the lack of health care professionals and the effect of unbalanced distribution are worst in remote and rural areas that, in turn, deteriorate the health of the entire population. A considerate number of health care professionals refuse to go to rural areas due to lack of technology, backdated infrastructure and lack of knowledge in the community and health safety. Lack of support and proper equipment in rural areas for monitoring the type of disease or any health condition relevant to disease make doctors impaired in applying their skills. Government bodies should design proper legislation and policies in health care centers to attract the professional. Attractive work design and health worker support able to retain the workforce and doctors will be able to take the job in the rural area.
References:
Boadi-Kusi, S. B., Kyei, S., Okyere, V. B., & Abu, S. L. (2018). Factors influencing the decision of GHANAIAN optometry students to practice in rural areas after graduation. BMC medical education, 18(1), 188. retrieved from : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1302-3
Castillo, Y. A., & Cartwright, J. (2018). Telerehabilitation in Rural Areas: A Qualitative Investigation of Pre-service Rehabilitation Professionals’ Perspectives. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 49(2).  Retrieved from : https://web.a.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=00472220&AN=130682577&h=%2bKGsinrF5y9EcrQB0b33lFUc28MLEkEXaN6d0nkwPdLIAbNrJdtKFgC88zhwIc9jfHbjC6%2fdSXsZW5DTzEUTpQ%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d00472220%26AN%3d130682577
Gurung, G., Derrett, S., Gauld, R., & Hill, P. C. (2017). Why service users do not complain or have ‘voice’: a mixed-methods study from Nepal’s rural primary health care system. BMC health services research, 17(1), 81.DOI:  10.2147/AMEP.S69430
Hisham, R., Liew, S. M., Ng, C. J., Nor, K. M., Osman, I. F., Ho, G. J., … & Glasziou, P. (2016). Rural doctors’ views on and experiences with evidence-based medicine: The FrEEDoM qualitative study. PloS one, 11(3), e0152649. Retrieved from : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152649
Legrand, K., Minary, L., & Briancon, S. (2018). Exploration of the experiences, practices and needs of health promotion professionals when evaluating their interventions and programmes. Evaluation and Program Planning. Retrieved from : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2018.06.003
Lodge, G., Sanci, L., & Temple-Smith, M. (2017). GPs’ perspectives on prescribing intrauterine contraceptive devices. Australian family physician, 46(5), 327. Retrieved from : https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=794731933864682;res=IELHEA.
Malatzky, C., Mitchell, O., & Bourke, L. (2018). Improving inclusion in rural health services for marginalised community members: Developing a process for change. Journal of Social Inclusion, 9(1), 21-36. doi:  10.4103/0976-3147.188635
Matsea, T., Ryke, E., & Weyers, M. (2018). Assessing mental health services in a rural setting: Service providers’ perspective. International Journal of Mental Health, 47(1), 26-49. Retrieved from :  https://doi.org/10.1080/00207411.2017.1377805.
Nowrouzi, B., Lightfoot, N., Larivière, M., Carter, L., Rukholm, E., Schinke, R., & Belanger-Gardner, D. (2015). Occupational stress management and burnout interventions in nursing and their implications for healthy work environments: a literature review. Workplace health & safety, 63(7), 308-315.
Ono, T., Schoenstein, M., & Buchan, J. (2014). Geographic imbalances in doctor supply and policy responses.  Retrieved from : https://doi.org/10.1093/her/cyy015
Ono, T., Schoenstein, M., & Buchan, J. (2016). Geographic imbalances in the distribution of doctors and health care services in OECD countries. retrieved from : https://www.mig.tuberlin.de/fileadmin/a38331600/2017.teaching.ws/OECD_uneven_distribitution_of_doctors.pdf.
Scott, M. A., Kiser, S., Park, I., Grandy, R., & Joyner, P. U. (2017). Creating a new rural pharmacy workforce: Development and implementation of the Rural Pharmacy Health Initiative. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 74(23), 2005-2012. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2146/ajhp160727.
Verani, A. R., Cossa, D., Mbeve, A. M. A., Sorneta, C., Ramirez, L., Boore, A. L., … & Vergara, A. E. (2016). Legal and regulatory framework for health worker retention in Mozambique: Public health law research to strengthen health systems and services. Journal of public health policy, 37(3), 369-384. . DOI:  10.1057/jphp.2016.22
Wanis, M. (2018). Traditional health-seeking practices among rural and urban negev bedouin populations in israel (Doctoral dissertation, University of Alabama Libraries). Re tried from :https://ir.ua.edu/bitstream/handle/123456789/3598/file_1.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.
Wisaijohn, T., Suphanchaimat, R., Topothai, T., Seneerattanaprayul, P., Pudpong, N., & Putthasri, W. (2015). Confidence in dental care and public health competency during rural practice among new dental graduates in Thailand. Advances in medical education and practice, 6, 1. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2015.06.140342
Zubaran, C., & Douglas, S. (2014). Peers or pariahs? The quest for fairer conditions for international medical graduates in Australia. Med J Aust, 201, 509-10. . doi: 10.1080/13691830600610098.

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