Victorian Government will be hiring up to a thousand health care professionals from overseas in an effort to ease the anticipated load on the state’s hospital system.
The newly announced state government initiative will see doctors, nurses and midwives hired from overseas under a $2.5 million plan.
The Government will also establish a new allowance to better support nurses, paramedics and doctors working on the frontline. Under the plan, Health Minister Martin Foley said up to 1000 healthcare workers living overseas, including Australians abroad, will be recruited and offered reduced relocation costs.
The new ‘Hospital Surge Support Allowance’ will be paid to patient-facing healthcare workers, providing direct care in public hospital services and Ambulance Victoria, over the next four months.
Mr Foley said, “We understand there are many Australian healthcare workers overseas keen to return home and roll up their sleeves to help the local workforce at our most critical time.”
Mr Foley said he hoped the workers, who have already been contracted, would be able to hit the ground running, with some beginning work ahead of an expected peak in hospitalisations in coming weeks.
“This group were largely be made up of returning Australians who have wanted to come back in our healthcare workforce but equally, a large number of international recruits,” he added.
All recruited healthcare workers will have an occupation identified on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List. To be eligible, healthcare workers will need to have an existing employment contract with a Victorian health service, have active professional registration, and be ready to travel.
Priority for relocation assistance will be given to the first 1,000 healthcare workers who arrive and commence employment with a Victorian health service, noting the need to support our system as soon as possible.
The announcement said that the state government will continue to work with the Commonwealth to ensure that access to flights and quarantine for international or Australian healthcare workers does not disadvantage other Australians returning home.’