Measure 5.1a

Objective area
Outcome area
Number of full-time equivalent employed health practitioners in the specialist palliative care workforce, per 100,000 population.
Australian Estimated Resident Population
Number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employed palliative medicine physicians and palliative care nurses in the reference year.
Number of people in the Australian Estimated Resident Population in the reference year.
(Numerator ÷ Denominator) x 100,000
Practitioner (physician, nurse), State/territory, Remoteness area, Work setting. See Data sources for more information. 
National Health Workforce Dataset
Full-time equivalent (FTE) – A full-time (FTE=1.0) standard working week is defined as 40 hours for medical practitioners and as 38 hours for nurses. The FTE number is calculated by:

FTE number = Total hours worked by workforce ÷ Standard working week for each profession.
Employed – employed in Australia and excluding those who are registered in the profession but are retired from regular work, working outside the profession, working in the profession but on extended leave of 3 months or more, only engaged in unpaid/ volunteer work or working outside Australia.
Estimated Resident Population – is the official Australian population estimate published by the ABS and includes all people who usually reside in Australia (regardless of nationality, citizenship or visa status). To calculate ERP between Censuses, the ABS uses administrative data to estimate flows of population change (births, deaths, and migration) which it adds to the stock population estimate.
  1. Due to a lack of available data, this is a proxy measure as it does not directly measure if people in need of palliative care are able to access it. However, achieving a functional and sustainable palliative care workforce is necessary to ensuring the needs of those requiring specialist palliative care are met.
  2. This measure only considers the specialist palliative care workforce and will not measure changes in the non-specialist palliative care workforce. The palliative care workforce is made up of a broad range of professional groups, each playing a unique role in supporting people with life-limiting illnesses to receive comprehensive, patient-centred care. It is recognised that general practitioners, other medical specialists, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and other allied health professionals form an integral part of the palliative care workforce. However, existing national data sources are not able to accurately capture the extent of palliative care services provided by these health professionals.
  3. Nurse practitioners whose principal job area is palliative care cannot be identified from the National Health Workforce Dataset and so are not included in this measure.