Australia’s health workforce is highly skilled but there are varying degrees of genomics literacy. One of the goals of InGeNA is the advancement of industry skills and development to build a workforce for the coming age of precision health. We are fortunately well placed to build a confident and capable workforce that can integrate genomics into everyday practice.
One of the ways we can work to achieve this is through professionalisation of new and emerging roles in genomics. This month, InGeNA endorsed the Human Genetics Society of Australasia’s request for in-principle support from the Medical Services Advisory Committee to open a dialogue about Medicare Provider numbers and Medicare Benefits Scheme items for services provided by genetic counsellors. We believe the right funding models are needed to improve access to professional genetic counsellors, and enable support for patients and other healthcare providers, as the community is increasingly making use of genetic/genomic technologies and information.
Planning for Australia’s genomics workforce is also the topic for our next InGeNA webinar at 12.30pm on Wednesday 18 August. We will hear from a Board-certified genetic counsellor Amy Pearn, founder of The Gene Council. We also feature special guest Prof Emma Kowal, from Summer Internship for Indigenous Peoples in Genomics (SING Australia). I hope you will join our expert speakers as they delve into the various aspects of developing and sustaining our genomics workforce; from defining the knowledge and skills needed, to providing a standardised framework, and ensuring that the future of genomics is ethical and inclusive.
David Bunker FAIDH CHIA