In 2001-02, approximately 361,900 people were employed in health occupations in Australia, comprising 3.9% of the total number of employed persons (table 9.31). The largest components of the health work force were registered nurses (158,700), generalist medical practitioners (37,600) and enrolled nurses (25,400).
Females comprised 72.5% of the health work force. The high proportion of females in the health work force is due to their predominance in registered midwifery (100%), enrolled nursing (93.5%), registered nursing (89.4%) and physiotherapy (78.1%). Conversely, males represented 80.3% of the ambulance officers and paramedics, 74.5% specialist medical practitioners and 62.9% generalist medical practitioners.
Over one-third (36.8%) of the health work force were employed on a part-time basis, as compared to 28.0% of the total number of employed persons in Australia. Females employed on a part-time basis constitute 89.4% of the health work force, a higher proportion than females employed on a part-time basis in the total Australian work force (71.5%). Among males in health occupations, 10.6% were part-time, compared with 28.5% for the total male work force. The higher proportion of part-time workers in the health sector is a reflection of the greater number of females in the health work force, who are more likely to work part-time.
9.31 EMPLOYED PERSONS IN HEALTH OCCUPATIONS - Averages over 2001-02(a)
% part-time workers
|Generalist medical practitioners|
|Specialist medical practitioners|
|Other health professionals(b)|
|Health associate professionals|
|Ambulance officers and paramedics|
|Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers|
|Other health associate professionals|
|Total employed in health occupations(c)|
|Total employed in Australia|
|(a) Average calculated on quarterly estimates.|
(b) Includes Health service managers.
(c) Includes Health professionals, Health service managers, Health associate professionals.
Source: ABS data available on request, Labour Force Survey.