The ASA has been working tirelessly, advocating on behalf of sonographers on issues such as sonographer regulation and workforce, and meeting with key opinion leaders, health ministers and politicians. Below we have summarised our activities to keep you up to date with our advocacy work.
Consultations and submissions
The ASA has responded to several consultations in 2023, including a proposed AHPRA data strategy, a consultation on a sustainable healthcare module, the Australia pre-budget submission, the post-budget response New Zealand, the Student Placement Project New Zealand and Primary Health Tasmania Allied Health Engagement Strategy (live video consultation only).
Read our recent written Consultations and Submissions here
NSW Town Hall Meeting on Sonographer Awards
On 14 March 2023, the ASA hosted a Town Hall meeting on sonographer awards in NSW. The interactive meeting was very well attended: participants had opportunities to respond to polls, provide comments and speak to the wider group during the lively online discussion. This event has been invaluable in providing the ASA with material on members’ views on Award reform going forward. We will continue to engage the NSW membership on this issue.
In 2022, the ASA held over 30 meetings with health ministers, shadow health ministers and advisors across the country from diverse sides of politics, as well as unions, Commonwealth and State Department of Health officials, MRPBA, RANZCR, CAHOs, and representatives from the Health Chief Executives Forum (HCEF) to brief them on the issue of sonographer regulation.
In 2023 the ASA has already had 10 meetings to discuss sonographer regulation. Key meetings included Professor Brendan Murphy, Penny Shakespeare, Matthew Williams, Michael Ryan, Teressa Gorondi and Jonathan Bray from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, Dr Gordon Reid MP, and RANZCR.
We have been working with the Federal Shadow Health Minister, Senator Anne Ruston, on tabling questions on notice on the subject of sonographer regulation.
Read more about Sonographer Regulation in Australia here
The ASA has been gathering critical data on the workforce situation in both Australia and New Zealand, including information on graduate numbers, clinical placements, retiring sonographers, and the dropout rate of students due to a lack of clinical placements. This data is used by the ASA to inform key stakeholders about the state of the sonographer workforce in both countries.
On Friday 17 March 2023, the ASA hosted an industry roundtable event in Canberra on the sonographer workforce. Participants include representations from the public and private sectors, universities, sonography tutors, unions and government. The roundtable aimed to determine solutions to addressing sonographer workforce issues, which include the shortage of clinical placements, an ageing/retiring workforce, a growing demand for services, and finding opportunities to help ensure a sustainable, satisfying career pathway. The ASA will produce a report that sets out a series of recommendations for change to address the sonographer workforce shortage so that patients have timely access to quality ultrasounds.
The New Zealand Sonographer Advisory Group (NZSAG) was formed in late 2022 to assist the ASA on addressing issues in New Zealand. NZSAG has been very active in the first few months of 2023, assisting in the responses to two consultations. On 8 February 2023, the ASA met with the Chief Allied Health Officer and had a workforce discussion with key industry stakeholders. The conversation was very productive, and the Ministry of Health aims to build a picture of key issues impacting on the health workforce.
Read more about the issue of Workforce here