Modelling accessibility of adult neurology care in Australia, 2020-2034

Australian & New Zealand Association of Neurologists Workforce Committee

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2 Citations (Web of Science)


Introduction In 2015/2016, annual national expenditure on neurological conditions exceeded $A3 billion. However, a comprehensive study of the Australian neurological workforce and supply/demand dynamics has not previously been undertaken. Methods Current neurological workforce was defined using neurologist survey and other sources. Workforce supply modelling used ordinary differential equations to simulate neurologist influx and attrition. Demand for neurology care was estimated by reference to literature regarding incidence and prevalence of selected conditions. Differences in supply versus demand for neurological workforce were calculated. Potential interventions to increase workforce were simulated and effects on supply versus demand estimated. Results Modelling of the workforce from 2020 to 2034 predicted an increase in neurologist number from 620 to 89. We estimated a 2034 capacity of 638 024 Initial and 1 269 112 Review encounters annually, and deficits against demand estimated as 197 137 and 881 755, respectively. These deficits were proportionately greater in regional Australia, which has 31% of Australia's population (Australian Bureau of Statistics) but is served by only 4.1% of its neurologists as determined by our 2020 survey of Australia and New Zealand Association of Neurologists members. Nationally, simulated additions to the neurology workforce had some effect on the review encounter supply deficit (37.4%), but in Regional Australia, this impact was only 17.2%. Interpretation Modelling of the neurologist workforce in Australia for 2020-2034 demonstrates a significant shortfall of supply relative to current and projected demand. Interventions to increase neurologist workforce may attenuate this shortfall but will not eliminate it. Thus, additional interventions are needed, including improved efficiency and additional use of support staff.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000407
JournalBMJ Neurology Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2023


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