New Aihw Reports: Nursing And Midwifery Labour Force 2008 & Medical Labour Force

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13th October 2010, 11:51am - Views: 973

Misc Miscellaneous AIHW 1 image

Misc Miscellaneous AIHW 2 image


More doctors and nurses, but supply varies across

regional and rural areas

The number of employed medical practitioners and nurses in Australia increased by 18%

and 12% respectively between 2004 and 2008, according to two reports released today by the

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

However, regional areas continued to have lower rates of medical practitioners per head of

population—most significantly, outer regional areas, where there were 187 full-time

equivalent (FTE) medical practitioners per 100,000 people, compared to 376 FTE medical

practitioners per 100,000 people in major cities.

David Braddock of the AIHW’s Labour Force Unit said the report, Medical labour force 2008,

shows there were 68,689 medical practitioners employed in medicine in Australia in 2008. 

‘The majority of employed medical practitioners worked as clinicians, and of these, about

38% were primary care practitioners, 35% were specialists, 14% were specialists-in-training

and 12% were hospital non-specialists,’ he said.

The average weekly hours worked by medical practitioners decreased from 44 hours in 2004

to 42.7 hours in 2008, while in remote and very remote areas, medical practitioners worked,

on average, an extra 3 hours per week.

Women continued to increase their share of the medical practitioner workforce, making up

35.0% of employed practitioners in 2008, up from 32.4% in 2004.

The report, Nursing and midwifery labour force 2008, shows that nursing continues to be a

female dominated profession, with women making up 90.6% of nurses in 2008.

‘The number of male nurses increased only slightly, from 8.7% in 2004 to 9.4% in 2008,’ Mr

Braddock said.

Nursing supply also varied across regions, however in contrast to the ratio of medical

practitioners, there were more nurses in remote areas compared to major cities.

‘Very remote areas had the highest supply of nurses, with 1,275 FTE nurses per 100,000

people, while major cities had the lowest supply, with 1,035 FTE per 100,000 people,’ Mr

Braddock said.

Nurses in very remote and remote areas worked, on average, more hours than the national

average (5.1 and 1.3 hours respectively).

Unlike for medical practitioners, the average weekly hours worked by nurses, rose over the

2004–2008 period, with nurses working 33.4 hours in 2008 compared to 32.8 hours in 2004.

Between 2004 and 2008, the proportion of nurses aged 50 years and over increased from 29%

to 35%, with the average age of nurses also increasing from 43.3 years to 44.1 years.

Canberra, 11 October 2010

Further information: David Braddock, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1136, mob. 0419 496 770

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer 02 6244 1032

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