Cost-effectiveness review into ongoing pharmacy workforce programs

Project Info


  • Australian Government Department of Health

Client Type

  • Commonwealth department

Financial Year

  • 2017-18

Health Area

  • Workforce

Service Provided

  • Health program evaluations


  • National

The Commonwealth Department of Health engaged HMA to undertake a cost-effectiveness review of 12 rural pharmacy workforce programs.

The Australian Government funded a number of rural workforce initiatives under the Third, Fourth and Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreements administered by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. The 12 programs seek to address the unequal distribution of the pharmacy workforce between metropolitan centres and rural and remote communities.

The purpose of the cost-effectiveness review was to determine if the existing programs are the most effective way of mitigating rural workforce shortages, or if programs should be re-designed to better address workforce needs in future.

The project was conducted in seven stages from August 2016 to June 2017:

  • Stage 1: Project set-up
  • Stage 2: Situation analysis
  • Stage 3: PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) analysis
  • Stage 4: Part One: Assess relative need
  • Stage 5: Part Two: Assess outcomes and evaluate
  • Stage 6: Evidence synthesis
  • Stage 7: Final report preparation