Aus state to recruit health workers to cope with staff shortage

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Melbourne, Aug 29 (IANS) Australia’s state of Victoria is recruiting and training a massive number of healthcare workers to cope with staff shortage partly due to Covid-19.

Under the initiative announced by the Victoria government, more than 17,000 nurses and midwives will be recruited and trained for the state’s healthcare system, reports Xinhua news agency.

More than 10,000 students will have the cost of their nursing or midwifery undergraduate studies paid for, while scholarships will be available for thousands more who complete postgraduate studies in areas of need including intensive care, cancer care, paediatrics and nurse practitioner specialties.

All new domestic students enrolling in a professional-entry nursing or midwifery course in 2023 and 2024 will receive a scholarship of up to A$16,500 ($11,297) to cover course costs.

Students will receive A$9,000 while they study and the remaining A$7,500if they work in Victoria’s public health services for two years.

More midwives will also join the workforce through an expanded postgraduate midwifery incentive programme, with scholarships and salary support.

It will help them continue working while having their specialist studies in midwifery.

“Every health system in the country is under enormous pressure due to the pandemic. The best thing we can do is to support our hardworking staff and give them more support on the ground, that’s why this package will train and hire more nurses than ever before,” said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews.

According to a report issued by the Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) last month, GP clinics, hospitals and ambulance services in the state were struggling with staff shortages and being overwhelmed by demand.

The public health system was juggling thousands of people needing care for flu and Covid-19, alongside the many thousands of people who needed emergency care for other reasons every day.

Many hospitals have also been running at an unprecedented capacity level to clear the elective surgery backlog due to Covid-19 restrictions since the pandemic began.

On Monday, Victoria reported 2,147 cases and four deaths from the virus. There were 343 hospitalizations and 22 in intensive care units.

–IANS

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