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3. RCTS Parameters and Reporting Framework - Workshop with DoH Health Workforce Division
- In line with the government’s red tape reduction agenda, the Department is looking to streamline the reporting system, capture really important outcomes and present in an efficient way.
- The reporting system should enable both monitoring of individual university’s performance as well as reporting to government on the outcomes of the program as a whole.
- The Department would like to trial self -assessment of outcomes-based information providing a set of questions to enable RCSs to provide succinct and relevant information with additional information provided as attachments.
- If RCSs are not meeting the parameter, the Department would like evidence of mitigation or risk management strategies.
Parameters – discussion included:
- Simplify parameters - Outcomes, outputs and processes.
- Leave to RCSs to report process driven outcomes - staff, students, curriculum.
- Smaller series of realistic high level outcomes about what influence RCS can have on rural workforce development backed up by key activities RCSs need to do. Some quantifiable, standardised targets plus KPIs – data as to whether outcomes have been achieved.
- Mix of qualitative and quantitative indicators.
- Parameters served as a repository to founding philosophy – don’t want to lose completely.
- Look at how parameters are described and assess the risks. Eg: fairly high level and vague and not identifiable to individual students would have a high risk rating.
- Short Term placements – important to maintain the option. (See previous discussion).
- Rural people delivering rural education is important. Faculty members who have worked in the bush for a long time provide a depth and richness of experience to the program. Students respond positively.
- Process parameters allow RCSs to influence Medical School policy eg: 25% rural enrolment enables the RCS to actively work with Admissions for adjustments around ATAR, adjustments for rural student disadvantage.
- In the past there has been broad description around community engagement. Now revise the language so it links to what students do in the community.
- Vertical integration agenda, demonstrating partnerships. Link to student and workforce outcomes.
- Workforce programs are designed to provide a benefit to the rural community.
- Community engagement in terms of students as leaders in the community. When students graduate, they have established a place within the community and parameter 5 enables RCS to do that.
- Progressing the rural health agenda – could now be more focussed on research and the rural pipeline.
- RCSs could be encouraged / invited to provide representation on various areas involved in progressing the training pipeline eg integrated health networks.
- The way the parameter is described needs to allow for relationships with training providers.
- At present, Parameter 7 is quite flexible. There is variation between the Clinical Schools on the focus of Parameter 7 and variable results.
- There was some discussion as to the role of Medical Schools in Indigenous health given the large metropolitan Indigenous population.
- The Department will engage with universities to determine how RCSs can influence more broadly issues around Indigenous students getting into medicine and graduating, as well as all students interacting with Aboriginal Medical Services.
- The Australian Medical Council needs to encourage urban parts of the universities to do better with regards to Indigenous health.
- RCSs shouldn’t be responsible for Indigenous health curriculum. That is the role of the university.
- Where there has been success in enrolling ATSI students, the challenge is in supporting them through the medical degree. It is a complex and difficult job.
- Don’t change set targets that have been successful eg: 5% infrastructure charge.