Universities Australia is pleased to provide this brief submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Inquiry into the National Health and Hospitals Network Bill 2010.
The Bill provides for the establishment of the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care as a permanent, independent statutory authority under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. The arrangements proposed for the Commission closely reflect the arrangements for the establishment of Health Workforce Australia (HWA) in 2009. Universities Australia supported the HWA arrangements and likewise supports the proposed governance and management structures for the Commission.
Universities Australia notes that a key factor influencing a health care provider's capacity to perform and achieve clinical standards will be the skills and training of the workforce available to it. Universities train the bulk of Australia's health workforce, and work with health care providers to provide the clinical training which is an essential part of the students' preparation to practice.
Universities have argued for several years that the support for clinical placement funding by Government - Commonwealth and State/Territory - has not kept pace with increases in student places, particularly given the recent additional Nursing and Medicine places funded by the Commonwealth. Universities have found it increasingly difficult to ensure that their students can access clinical places of suitable quality in appropriate numbers.
For the full submission, please see the PDF attached below.