In 2000-01, about 361,200 people were employed in health occupations, and comprised 4% of the total number of employed persons in Australia (table 9.34). The health work force grew by an average of 2.2% per year from 1996-97 (the earliest available comparable year), around the same rate of growth for total employment (2.1%). Registered nurses and registered midwives increased in number between 1996-97 and 2000-01, while the number of enrolled nurses declined, reflecting the structural changes in nursing occupations.
More than one third (35%) of the health workforce were employed on a part time basis, compared with 27% for the total Australian workforce. The high proportion of part time employment in the health workforce may be attributed to the higher percentage of females working in the health sector, given that females have higher rates of part time employment than males. Around 44% of females in the health workforce were part-time employees, the same proportion as for the total female workforce. Among males in health occupations, 10% were part-time, compared with 13% for the total male workforce.
9.34 EMPLOYED PERSONS IN HEALTH OCCUPATIONS - Averages over 2000-01(a)
% part-time workers
| Health professionals|
| Generalist medical practitioners|
| Specialist medical practitioners|
| Registered nurses|
| Registered midwives|
| Other health professionals|
| Health paraprofessionals|
| Enrolled nurses|
|(a) Average calculated on quarterly estimates.|
|(b) Includes Health service managers.|
Source: ABS data available on request, Labour Force Survey.