A new horizon for health services: optimising advanced practice nursing - a white paper

Medicine Health services planning Nursing Australia

Australia has a world class health system, a system that is indiscriminate. This system offers a high standard of nursing, medical and allied health services, which makes Australia the envy of many countries.

At the same time, there are elements of the health system that are failing for some consumer groups. These are the aged, those with multiple, chronic diseases and those who are marginalised and disadvantaged by geography, culture or poverty. Delayed or inadequate care for these population groups over time causes deteriorating health, leading to increased pressure on public health services and subsequent expansion of the health budget. As a proportion of Gross Domestic Product, health is the fastest growing budgetary cost in the Commonwealth.

In addition, we argue that current delivery models in part, contribute to this conundrum. Current funding and practice models limit the potential for flexible health care delivery and person-centred care.

This decline in service, exacerbation of poor health and escalation in health costs need not continue. This White Paper is about timely care, relevant systems and best practice health service contexts.

This document provides an overview of the service gaps and challenges that are faced by diverse population groups. It examines the barriers to authentic team-based care and the obstacles to optimum use of advanced practice nursing.

The Australian College of Nursing proposes solutions to improve health care for poorly serviced, underserviced and marginalised populations. This paper presents solutions where the specific nursing practice model is most effective to address fragmented, uncoordinated and expensive care.

Publication Details
Version 2 October 2019 – reprinted November 2019
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