Rehabilitation Workforce Service Forecast
Lead: Dr Andrew Wong
There is currently no comprehensive rehabilitation system in New Zealand. Provision of, and access to services is fragmented and varies greatly between regions. The main funders of rehabilitation- the Ministry of Health, Accident Compensation Corporation and District Health Boards, all purchase different components of rehabilitation leading to the provision of varied and often inequitable services and therefore different outcomes for clients. Services are provided through public and private providers in in-patient, outpatient, community and home based settings.
As a population, Maori have on average the poorest health status of any ethnic group in NZ.
Current work under Whanau Ora, which involves facilitating positive relationships and recognising the interconnectedness of health, education, employment, housing, justice and welfare can contribute significantly to achieving real gains for Maori and improved rehabilitation outcomes.
Research, in New Zealand and overseas, has demonstrated that rehabilitation can significantly reduce the costs to the health system and increase a return to productivity for many of those affected by disabling injury or illness. By providing a system that supports clients from acute care through to returning to their communities and homes, outcomes can be improved not only for the clients and their families, but for the health system as a whole
The current rehabilitation workforce faces issues of recruitment and retention at all levels; from the unregulated workforce of caregivers, through allied health professionals to rehabilitation medicine specialists. Training in rehabilitation is limited and uptake is not currently adequate to meet the needs of a comprehensive system.
The purpose of the Rehabilitation Service and Workforce Forecast was to develop a vision of a world-class rehabilitation system for 2020.
This forecast was informed by input from the experts on the review team, from interviews with other rehabilitation experts in New Zealand, by literature scans and evidence of innovative and good practice from New Zealand and from overseas.
HWNZ will work with the NHB and Cross-Ministry e.g. the Health of Older People team to prioritise the Recommendations in order to develop a comprehensive and achievable work programme and implementation plan. HWNZ will progress those recommendations that relate specifically to workforce.
- Rehabilitation Workforce Service Forecast summary (PDF, 21.16KB)
- Rehabilitation Workforce Service Forecast report (PDF, 1.28MB)
Note: This is a sector led report that has been received by HWNZ to generate discussion around the perceived key strategic issues for the future rehabilitation workforce. We encourage you to upload any thoughts and/or initiatives related to the Rehabilitation Workforce Service Forecast here http://workforceinnovation.hiirc.org.nz/section/22156/rehabilitation/.
 Cecins Nola , Geelhoed Elizabeth , Jenkins Sue C (2008) Reduction in hospitalisation following pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD . Australian Health Review 32, 415–422. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH080415
 R. M. Williams, M. G. Westmorland, C. A. Lin, G. Schmuck and M. Creen(2007). Effectiveness of workplace rehabilitation interventions in the treatment of work-related low back pain: A systematic review. Disability and Rehabilitation; 29(8): 607-24.
 The Burden of COPD in New Zealand, Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of NZ (Inc.) and The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, New Zealand Branch Inc., 2003, p8. Available from: http://asthmafoundation.org.nz/research/burden-of-respiratory-disease-2/