There is diversity in the provision of primary health care across Australia, however most is provided through general practice. It is a priority to ensure sufficient numbers and distribution of primary health care providers who proactively provide STI services in private and public practice. This requires recruitment, retention and training of medical, nursing and health worker professionals by various strategies. An exploration of Australia’s HIV workforce48 and HIV models of access to and delivery of clinical services49 provides some direction. This needs to include:
- considering practice incentives and enhancements
- strengthening training programs for general practitioners, practice nurses and nurse practitioners
- considering alternative models of health service delivery and expanding the roles of the other professional members of the primary healthcare team, including nurses and health workers
- improving the ‘youth-friendly’ nature of health services and expanding youth-specific services to improve the access of young people.
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48 McLean S & Savage J, ‘Australia’s Health Workforce: roles, supply, trends, recruitment and capacity to deliver HIV services’, background paper for the Models of Access and Clinical Service Delivery Project, Australasian Society for HIV Medicine, Sydney, NSW, 2009b, <http://www.ashm.org.au/default2.asp?active_page_id=168>.
49 Savage J, Crooks L & McLean S, ‘Models of Access and Clinical Service Delivery for People with HIV in Australia: final report’, Australasian Society for HIV Medicine, Sydney, NSW, 2009, <http://www.ashm.org.au/default2.asp?active_page_id=168>.