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New bid to recruit 380 nurses and allied health workers

By Karen Keast | Last Updated: 26-06-2014

Acting Federal Health Minister Mark Butler

The Federal Government will spend more than $16 million to recruit more than 380 nurses and allied health workers to Australia’s regional and remote areas.

Under Health Workforce Australia, 387 nurses and allied health professionals will be employed in the nation’s first nationally-coordinated recruitment process.

Health Workforce Australia will work with seven rural health workforce agencies to recruit and retain health professionals to rural and remote areas in a bid to tackle health workforce shortages.

Under the Rural Health Professionals Program, 80 health professionals will be placed through the New South Wales Rural Doctors Network, 52 through Health Workforce Queensland, 45 through the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency in South Australia,

45 through Health Recruitment Plus in Tasmania, 80 through the Rural Workforce Agency in Victoria, 40 through Rural Health West and 45 through the General Practice Network in the Northern Territory.

Acting Federal Health Minister Mark Butler announced the funds which are aimed at recruiting more nurses and allied health workers from Australia and also from overseas.

“The Rural Health Professionals Program will facilitate more efficient workforce attraction, recruitment and retention in rural and remote areas, addressing well-recognised health workforce shortages,” he said in a statement.

“The rural workforce agencies will be responsible for orientation, the provision of retention support packages and case management.”

A spokesperson for the Australian Nursing Federation said the union wanted more information about the announcement.

“Whilst the ANF welcomes additional funding to deliver more health professionals into rural and regional areas, we are awaiting further announcements from the Minister to ascertain if the funding package includes the recruitment of registered nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing,” the spokesperson said.

Mr Butler also announced $1.5 million for eight projects to assist rural medical generalists and rural dual trained physicians, which will also be rolled out under Health Workforce Australia.

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