Submitted to South Australia Health (April 2021).

South Australia Health should incorporate our recommendations on the SA Rural Allied Health Workforce Plan. This will optimise the quality and training of the allied health workforce.

To achieve this, SA Health should focus on building a skilled workforce in this space. They should better train future employees in areas such as aged care. They must take steps to recruit more people into allied health work. SA Health should also increase the regional health training opportunities available. They should offer more mentorship and rural placement opportunities. This should improve the participation and retention of staff in the sector.

The sector should also aim to improve their digital presence. Offering Telehealth consultations with dietitians and making better use of the data and analytics available is critical. This will help workers better meet the needs of the community. It will also lead to a more effective allocation of resources.

Aged care is a key area of concern within the allied health workforce. It should become a core competency in all allied health courses. Further training and upskilling in aged care should be a priority.

We need reforms to clarify reporting and evaluation strategies within the sector. SA Health should reconsider the training and experience required of employees in allied health.

The diverse nature of the roles and needs of allied health practitioners, including dietitians, in rural South Australia must be considered. This will help ensure the needs of clinicians are being met, and the community receives top quality care.

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