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Working with governments, businesses, health providers and NGOs to co-design and deliver employment strategies that strengthen engagement and retention.


The Healthy Work, Healthy Communities Program is a service of the Healthy Communities Foundation Australia.  Australian governments and communities have spent an enormous amount of money over the last 20 years trying to fix rural and remote medical, health and social welfare professional shortages.  Yet those shortages persist, and are driving growing inequity in Australia.  We know how to get doctors, nurses, allied health and social workers into rural and remote communities, but the evidence-base is not well understood or applied, and there are few successful examples of the application of the evidence in real life contexts.  The Healthy Work Program has been established to assist government, communities and businesses interested in improving recruitment and retention strategies for rural health and social care professional staff, build more flexible and adaptable frameworks that support the delivery of the right care in the right place, and demonstrate how organisations can integrate technology into work practices to enhance the quality of care for vulnerable communities and strengthen employee loyalty and passion.





CEFIC is a demonstration site located in the community health centre in the small remote community of Galariinbaraay/Collarenebri.  The idea for the Centre was to allow to work with the community, and health and social care professionals, to demonstrate how people-centred integrated care can deliver improved access to care more sustainably, while improving access to prevention and early intervention activities in a real community. 

This is a community-led initiative that responds to place-based needs identified by rural and remote communities.  We demonstrate a wide range of solutions including virtual care, Nurse-led care, remote monitoring, community-based health prevention, health and clinical training, integration of health and social services - basically we will trial anything that is flexible, integrated and delivers better access to health and social care in vulnerable communities.

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As a large primary health and social care provider, we know that our industry is not always at the forefront of creating workplaces that are happy and healthy. This is due to many factors, including funding models, excessive workload demands, and increased competition for skills.


At the heart of the challenge for health and social care organisations is culture.  Employers are increasingly losing their traditional role as recruiters, as employees increasingly become selective about the types of work and workplaces that align to their values and needs (selectors).

Throwing money at the problem, like incentives and bonuses, has the perverse effect of driving price inflation and increasing management expectations of staff to absorb higher workloads, exacerbating the problem it was designed to solve.

How do we create productive and sustainable health and social care workplaces that people want to work in?  That is the challenge the Foundation set itself in reconceptualising the relationship of master/servants, and transforming this into a genuine team.

The Foundation models and evaluates new policy approaches to staff happiness and retention in the health and social care sector, and works with governments, communities and business to support people positive practices and cultures that build thriving organisations where people want to work.





Today, health, medical and social welfare students go to lectures at university or TAFE online and use AI and clinical simulators to apply knowledge in practice.  Clients and patients routinely access health and social care via Telehealth, online or an app. 

While virtual models have evolved rapidly across most aspects of health and social care, there remains a key gap in the application of these models to training and workforce development.  

Despite evidence that virtual supervision is far superior to traditional on-site models of clinical supervision for example, the application of virtual models remains tentative and limited.  

The aim of the Centre is to demonstrate and evaluate how virtual technologies can be used to enhance patient access to quality care, while also supporting to grow the next generation of medical, health and social care workers in rural, remote and other vulnerable communities in Australia.

The Centre is trialling new models of nurse-led care supported by virtual GPs; virtual clinical supervision of medical trainees; delivery of hybrid virtual models of residential aged care primary health service delivery; and integrated models of care using multidisciplinary medical and allied health teams.

The Centre works with industry, government and communities to translate evidence into workable models of care and education that supports improved access to care in disadvantaged communities.

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Want to talk to someone about the Healthy Work Program. Send us your email and we will be in touch.

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