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[extract] The case for change and innovation in the health workforce: The demand for health care in Australia is growing and will continue to do so as the population lives longer - albeit often with chronic illness and complex needs - and has rising expectations for continued quality of life. Increased emphasis on prevention, early detection and primary health care has many potential benefits, but requires resources and support including suitably qualified health professionals to deliver this care. The challenge is to build a self-sufficient, highly skilled health workforce that can meet current and future needs for equitable access, quality care and innovation in health care provision. One promising approach is to develop new models of care by expanding the scope of practice of health professionals, enabling them to meet the needs of consumers in areas of growing demand.