March 28, 2022
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A recently published Perspectives Brief from the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research suggests a coordinated national workforce strategy is needed to enable the delivery of high-value genomic medicine.

Authored by Dr Janet C. Long and Chrissy Clay of the Australian Institute of Health Innovation and Melbourne Genomics Executive Director Prof Clara Gaff, the paper details key workforce issues for genomic medicine.

“Genomic testing is a complex and staged process involving many different health professionals who bring their knowledge and skills to work in multi-disciplinary teams,” said Prof Clara Gaff.

“While translational programs like Melbourne Genomics and Australian Genomics are crucial in moving policy into practice, the health system will continue to struggle to meet demand until workforce issues are addressed comprehensively.”

“We know a large section of non-genetic professionals are not yet prepared, with evidence demonstrating many lack the knowledge, skills and confidence to practice genomic medicine,” said Prof Gaff.

“A coordinated national strategy is needed to ensure all Australians benefit from genomics and the workforce is prepared. The recent establishment of Genomics Australia is a welcome first step.”

Key recommendations from the paper include:

  • Developing agile, multidisciplinary teams around expected genomic demand
  • Building the genomics skill base for a systematic, national approach to professional education
  • Ensuring specialist genomic workforce capacity and capability
  • Reforming funding models to meet contemporary demands for genomic testing
  • Supporting translational research funding in genomics

The Deeble Institute’s Perspective Briefs are easy-to-read papers designed to provide health leaders, policymakers and health practitioners expert insights on a particular area of health practice or management.

Read the full Perspectives Brief.

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