The first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner positions in Queensland Health are now established, as a result of 8 years of work led by the Workforce Strategy Branch, Strategy Policy and Planning Division. In addition, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners will now be able to work to full clinical scope of practice across both public health and Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Services.
This has been made possible through the establishment of a comprehensive clinical governance framework, legislative amendments to provide authorities to use scheduled medicines, and interim employment arrangements for Hospital and Health Services.
The successful implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner, and facilitating this workforce to work to top of scope, is a key deliverable of the Health Minister's Key Results Area 4: Improving Closing the Gap through an empowered Indigenous workforce.
Significant and collaborative stakeholder engagement though the development process has resulted in unanimous support for the implementation of the role as planned, including support from Hospital and Health Services, ACCHSs, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association, AMAQ and QNMU, clinicians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers.
Workforce Strategy Branch partnered with the following Queensland Health teams in delivering this outcome:
- Health Care Legislation Improvement Unit, Chief Health Officer and Prevention Division
- Strategic Policy and Legislation Branch, Strategy Policy and Planning Division
- Rural and Remote Clinical Support Unit, Torres Cape Hospital and Health Service
In addition, the valued contribution and advocacy of the following external stakeholders is acknowledged:
- Torres Cape Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive and Executive
- Apunipima Cape York Health Service
- Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council