Health Workforce Special Interest Group

The specialist area within health policy advocacy, research and education to be served by the SIG.

The Health Workforce SIG will serve the policy area of health workforce, which covers:

  • Planning for changing demands for health (e.g. ageing population, lifestyle related diseases, mental health)
  • Health reform and workforce implications
  • Workforce development strategies
  • Workforce deployment strategies
  • Workforce sustainability

Rationale for SIG

The overwhelming bulk of health budgets is spent on the health workforce. As the population ages and as the nature of demand changes, there are huge pressures for change in the scale, skills and organisation of this workforce. The response to these changes should be underpinned by rigorous evidence, evaluations and sound policy. This SIG will allow researchers and policy makers interested in these, and related matters, to share insights and coordinate new research endeavours.

Goals for the Health Workforce SIG

  • Develop a register of all health workforce researchers at the University of Sydney.
  • Facilitate cross disciplinary knowledge transfer and collaboration with regards to health workforce issues: including developing coordinated health workforce development strategies; addressing training, recruitment and retention issues; developing a sustainable and well health workforce; and identifying and proposing ways to address skills/knowledge gaps.
  • Promote health workforce research that has been undertaken at the University to a wider audience.
  • Promote new opportunities for research and policy contribution to members.
  • Facilitate networks with policy makers and external parties.
  • Facilitate collaborative SIG projects, such as the development of a range of robust future scenarios for the health workforce.

Proposal for the Health Workforce SIG’s first year of operation


The Health Workforce SIG will be convened by Professor John Buchanan, Director of the Workplace Research Centre with support from Workplace Research Centre staff.

Plans for Meetings

It is planned that there be one inception meeting in 2013 to plan the 2013 agenda and operations.

The Health Workforce SIG regular meetings are expected to include:

  • research presentations;
  • discussion of recent research and policy developments;
  • development of collaborative opportunities within the University and with external parties;
  • coordination of SIG projects.

A mailing list will be created to distribute information and promote opportunities to members.

Plans for engaging external parties

The Health Workforce SIG will aim to engage with researchers, students, policy makers, industry bodies and other interested community parties to share knowledge and develop opportunities for collaboration on health workforce policy issues. Relevant experts will be invited to present at SIG meetings. External parties, in particular relevant government and industry bodies, will be invited to collaborate with SIG members to identify and work on high priority policy issues. External parties will also be encouraged to use the SIG membership list as a way of promoting relevant research and policy contribution opportunities. The SIG will help to facilitate the involvement of external experts and policy makers in SIG and SHPN events.

Publicity arrangements

The Health Workforce SIG will be promoted through SHPN channels and:

  • through a dedicated web page that will be established to promote SIG activities and member expertise;
  • at relevant events and meetings attended by SIG members;
  • through a mailing list.


Professor John Buchanan, Director, Workplace Research Centre