MABEL Survey awarded for impact on healthcare policy

The long-running MABEL survey of doctors has been recognised for its contribution to health policy in Australia.

The Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic and Social Research's MABEL research program at the University of Melbourne has been recognised for its contribution to healthcare policy, winning the HSRAANZ 2018 Impact Award.

Tony Scott
Professor Anthony Scott.

The Health Services Research Association of Australia & New Zealand (HSRAANZ) award recognises research that has been successfully translated into health policy, management, or clinical practice.

Running since 2008, Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) is a national panel survey of 10,000 doctors, now in its 11th annual wave of data collection.

By assessing the geographic distribution of doctors and understanding workforce participation, doctor's career choices and working patterns, MABEL provides vital evidence to improve access to medical care in Australia.

“We have worked hard alongside key stakeholders with MABEL to achieve an impact on policy over the past 11 years and are very honoured to be recognised for these efforts,” said Melbourne Institute Professor and MABEL Director, Anthony Scott.

“We have been able to make an impact by working closely with key stakeholders to help shape the research to fit the context of national medical workforce policy issues. We believe, without a productive, motivated and appropriately skilled medical workforce, distributed equitably across Australia, innovations to save lives and reduce the burden of disease will not have the desired impact.”

Most notably, MABEL data was used in the development of the Modified Monash Model (MMM), adopted and first used by the Department of Health in 2015. The MMM is now used to help distribute over $1bn of Commonwealth funds to support health care and other services in rural and regional Australia.

“We thank those who have funded MABEL, especially NHMRC and Department of Health, as well as all of the doctors who have participated since 2008,” said Professor Scott.

The MABEL research team was the joint recipient of the award alongside University of Adelaide’s, Doctor Elizabeth Lynch, for her research – ‘Assessing and managing rehabilitation needs of people with stroke in Australia.’