Supporting a sustainable workforce

As one of the largest specialist medical colleges in Australia and New Zealand, we're committed to training, developing and supporting the workforce required to fulfil the our mission of serving the community by fostering safety and high quality patient care in anaesthesia, perioperative medicine and pain medicine.

Anaesthesia and pain medicine workforce

Australia and New Zealand’s anaesthesia and pain medicine workforce comprises more than 7100 highly skilled professionals working in a variety of private and public settings. An analysis of this workforce highlighted a number of characteristics and trends that have influenced college workforce priorities, such as:

  • A marked under-representation of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori fellows and trainees.
  • A geographic maldistribution of the workforce with around 84 per cent of anaesthetists and 90 per cent of specialist pain medicine physicians working in major cities in Australia, and 90 per cent of anaesthetists and 91 per cent of specialist pain medicine physicians working in urban or secondary urban areas in New Zealand.
  • A high number of specialist pain medicine physicians (nearly 50 per cent) approaching retirement age.

Policy and reform context

The anaesthesia and pain medicine workforce is affected by developments and policy changes in the health system as well as broader social and economic dynamics driving health workforce reforms. Policy and document analysis reveals a wide range of health system and broader factors impacting workforce and the way health services are being delivered, such as:

  • A growing and ageing population.
  • Demand for healthcare services increasing at a rate significantly in excess of both population and gross domestic product growth.
  • Changing community expectations about where and how health services are delivered.
  • Technological advances and innovations.
  • Resource constraint which has impacted health system funding, particularly in infrastructure and staffing.
  • Increasingly complex patients with multiple comorbidities.
  • The poorer health outcomes of Indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand.

National Medical Workforce Strategy

In 2019 the Australian government Department of Health announced that it was developing a 10-year National Medical Workforce Strategy to guide long-term medical workforce planning. The first phase was to develop a scoping document and this was completed in July 2019. The strategy is due to be finalised and endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments Health Council in late 2020. Further information about the strategy is available on the Department of Health website.

A number of medical workforce priorities for the strategy have been identified, informed by stakeholders including specialist medical colleges. The priorities to be addressed by the strategy are:

  • Geographic maldistribution and inequality in healthcare access.
  • Over- and under-supply in certain specialties.
  • The balance of generalist versus subspecialist skills.
  • Growing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors and having a culturally safe medical workforce.
  • Doctor work-readiness.
  • Service delivery and changing models of care.
  • Coordination between medical workforce planning stakeholders.
  • Management of the training and career pathway.
  • Reliance on registrars to meet health service needs.

Specialist Training Program

This Australian government initiative aims to extend vocational training for specialist registrars into settings outside traditional metropolitan teaching hospitals, including regional, rural and remote, and private facilities.

Find out more

Growing the Indigenous workforce

Helping more Indigenous doctors to train as anaesthetists and pain specialists is one of the key ways we can address wider inequities. This doesn't just mean recruiting, retaining, and supporting Indigenous health practitioners, but also helping to create culturally safe and responsive workplaces.

Find out more

Upcoming events

21 September 2022 - 23 November 2022 | Zoom

This two-hour online AEP event will cover a single module of planning effective teaching and...

Find out more
14 October 2022 - 16 October 2022 | Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas

Registration is now open! Join us in Noosa for the 2022 FPM Spring meeting in Noosa. We are...

Find out more
20 October 2022 | Te Papa, Wellington, NZ

Please join us for the 2022 Neuroanaesthesia SIG meeting to be held on Thursday October 20 at Te...

Find out more
26 November 2022 | University of Sydney

Please join us on Saturday 26 November at the University of Sydney for the 2022 NSW ACE Anatomy...

Find out more
12 November 2022 - 13 November 2022 | Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific

Please join us for the 2022 NSW ACE Spring Meeting to be held on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13...

Find out more
5 November 2022 | Medical Science Precinct, Hobart

Join for a single day workshop event, built entirely of ANZCA ER activities

Find out more
28 October 2022 - 30 October 2022 | Pullman Resort, Bunker Bay

2022 WA ACE Country Conference held at the Pullman Resort in Bunker Bay.

Find out more
5 May 2023 - 9 May 2023 | ICC Sydney

Save the date for the 2023 ANZCA ASM which will be held at the International Convention Centre...

Find out more
5 May 2023 | ICC Sydney

Save the date for the 2023 FPM Symposium which will be held at the International Convention...

Find out more
3 May 2023 - 4 May 2023 | ICC Sydney

Save the date to join us for Challenges and Choices in Obstetric Anaesthesia from 3-4 May 2023, a...

Find out more
8 October 2022 - 9 October 2022 | Hotel Realm

After a two year hiatus, the organising team is very excited to host this face-to-face meeting...

Find out more
6 December 2022 - 7 December 2022 | School of Medicine

This two-day AEP event aims to equip clinicians with the skills and knowledge to enable effective...

Find out more
19 October 2022 - 21 October 2022 | ANZCA Office

The ANZCA Educators Program (AEP) aims to equip clinicians with the skills and knowledge to...

Find out more
30 November 2022 - 2 December 2022 | ANZCA Office

The ANZCA Educators Program (AEP) aims to equip clinicians with the skills and knowledge to...

Find out more
14 November 2022 | SA ANZCA Regional Office

"A complaint has been made about me. What's next?"

Find out more
5 December 2022 - 9 December 2022 | Northside Conference Centre

This full-time, five day intensive course covers many of the core curriculum topics that could be...

Find out more
17 October 2022 - 21 October 2022 | Various hospitals

Free practice viva sessions to assist trainees in their final viva preparation.

Find out more
4 November 2022 | In-Person and Virtual Course

This free one day course is aimed at new trainees about to commence anaesthetic training.

Find out more
28 November 2022 - 2 December 2022 | Northside Conference Centre

A week long interactive exam preparation course for NSW trainees sitting the primary written exam

Find out more
26 September 2022 - 30 September 2022 | Various Locations

Practice viva sessions to assist NSW trainees to prepare for the ANZCA primary vivas

Find out more
11 October 2022 - 26 October 2022 | ANZCA QLD regional office

Two free mock viva sessions designed to help trainees prepare for the ANZCA final exam

Find out more
31 October 2022 | Virtual

Free mock viva session designed to help trainees prepare for the ANZCA final viva examination.

Find out more
4 October 2022 | Virtual course

A free evening course for Queensland trainees preparing for their final vivas.

Find out more
28 November 2022 - 2 December 2022 | ANZCA QLD regional office

This full-time, five day intensive course covers many of the core curriculum topics that could be...

Find out more
23 July 2022 - 19 November 2022 | ANZCA QLD regional office

Interactive long course held over five Saturdays covering core topics of the primary examination.

Find out more
7 September 2022 - 5 October 2022 | ANZCA QLD regional office

A series of two free mock viva sessions designed to help trainees prepare for the ANZCA primary...

Find out more
20 September 2022 - 12 October 2022 | Virtual

A series of evening mock viva sessions designed to help trainees prepare for the ANZCA primary...

Find out more
8 October 2022 - 9 October 2022 | ANZCA QLD regional office

This intensive course consists of continuous practice vivas to help trainees prepare for the...

Find out more
9 February 2022 - 7 December 2025 | SA ANZCA Regional Office

For SA/NT trainees preparing for the primary exam.

Find out more
4 February 2022 - 2 December 2025 | Online (Zoom)

For SA/NT trainees preparing for the final exam.

Find out more
14 November 2022 - 25 November 2022 | ANZCA House

This full-time, ten day long intensive course covers many of the core curriculum topics that...

Find out more

Related content

You might be interested in...
24 Dec 2019

Advocacy

From formal submissions to social media campaigns, we leverage our professional reputation and re...

Find out more
Last updated 09:09 30.06.2020