Building the northern Australian workforce health promotion capacity to address chronic diseases

Devine, S., and McFarlane, K. (2011) Building the northern Australian workforce health promotion capacity to address chronic diseases. In: Tropical Medicine and International Health (16) 3.1-006. p. 316. From: 7th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health, 3-6 October 2011, Barcelona, Spain.

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Introduction: The climate of reform and change is evident in the current Australian health care system where significant challenges are faced due to a growing burden of chronic disease, an aging population, workforce issues, and unacceptable inequities in access to services and health outcomes. Improved management of chronic conditions and a focus on health promotion and prevention are key priority action areas. It is vital that the health workforce has the appropriate knowledge and skills to work in a holistic approach that allows them to contribute to the downstream, midstream, upstream actions that will be required to address the future challenges. This presentation describes workforce health promotion capacity building initiatives developed in Northern Australia.

Methods and Materials: A range of courses have been developed to build workforce capacity including a 5-day Core Health Promotion Short Course and tertiary level courses including a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma and Master of Public Health (Health Promotion).

Results: Between 2007 and 2011, fourteen 5 day short courses in health promotion were conducted for 254 participants. Follow up impact evaluation shows that the courses succeed in providing knowledge, skills, confidence and enthusiasm to undertake health promotion work but that a lack of understanding of health promotion from co-workers and managers, lack of organisational support and commitment, lack of resources, competing clinical priorities, and lack of time were barriers for undertaking health postgraduate courses commenced in 2010.

Conclusions: There is strong support for workforce development in health promotion in north Queensland. Short courses and tertiary level training are one way to achieve this. However shifting health service delivery to a more upstream approach to address chronic disease requires broader capacity building within health services and systems including leadership, partnerships, resource allocation and organisational development.

Item ID: 21291
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISSN: 1365-3156
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Tropical Medicine and International Health, Volume 16, Issue Supplement s1, pages 97–384, October 2011.

Special Issue: Abstracts of the 7th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health. 3-6 October 2011 Barcelona, Spain.

Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2012 05:25
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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