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Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) News

We congratulate the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic and Social Research’s MABEL research program at the University of Melbourne for being recognised for its contribution to healthcare policy by winning the HSRAANZ 2018 Impact Award.

The Health Services Research Association of Australia & New Zealand (HSRAANZ) award recognises research that has been successfully translated into health policy, management, or clinical practice.
“We have worked hard alongside key stakeholders with MABEL to achieve an impact on policy over the past 11 years and are very honoured to be recognised for these efforts,” said Melbourne Institute Professor and MABEL Director, Anthony Scott.

“We have been able to make an impact by working closely with key stakeholders to help shape the research to fit the context of national medical workforce policy issues. We believe, without a productive, motivated and appropriately skilled medical workforce, distributed equitably across Australia, innovations to save lives and reduce the burden of disease will not have the desired impact.”

The long-running panel survey of 10,000 doctors is now in its 11th annual wave of data collection.
By assessing the geographic distribution of doctors and understanding workforce participation, doctors’ career choices and working patterns, MABEL provides vital evidence to improve access to medical care in Australia.

Most notably, MABEL data was used in the development of the Modified Monash Model (MMM), adopted and first used by the Department of Health in 2015. The MMM is now used to help distribute over $1bn of Commonwealth funds to support health care and other services in rural and regional Australia.

“We thank those who have funded MABEL, especially National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Department of Health, as well as all of the doctors who have participated since 2008,” said Professor Scott.

Visit for more details.

Comment by Dr Rosalie Cooper:

This research program is probably known to many of you. I have been able to attend part of the last two Research and Policy Forums held annually. VMWS was invited to present in 2015 and 2017.

In 2018, Forum speakers presented on Changing the Culture of Medical Training. This covered hospital and university situations. Emphasis was on improving support to trainees throughout postgraduate training from internship to final qualification. New models of healthcare and improving access through changing the distribution of doctors were other topics.

Their website lists all their published papers. These include many policy issues within medical training and healthcare.

For example, incentives to encourage doctors to work in the country, applications for training programs for specialists, and comparing numbers of applications for GP and other specialist training with non-specialist hospital jobs.

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