Greg Hunt reveals plan to ship 2,000 healthcare professionals to Australia

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed the government’s “one-off” plan to boost hospitals as Australia battles its biggest outbreak yet.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has unveiled a plan to ship 2,000 doctors and nurses to Australia as the nation grapples with the ongoing delta outbreak.

Mr Hunt said those who had already applied to come to Australia would be able to bypass travel restrictions and take on important jobs across hospitals.

“This will be a one-time payment to provide additional support,” Mr Hunt said. Sydney Morning Herald. “The Commonwealth is committed to it and the countries are working constructively with us.”

The influx of health professionals will mostly come from Britain, Ireland and other countries with medical qualifications similar to the regulatory bodies within Australia, meaning they will be able to start working as soon as they arrive.

The plan came after the International College of Nurses estimated a global shortage of 5.9 million nurses, with the UK’s Royal College of Nursing claiming there were more than 39,000 nursing vacancies in England alone.

The chief executive of the Australian College of Nursing, Kylie Ward, has revealed there are more than 12,000 nursing vacancies in Australia, as the sector continues to put pressure on politicians to bolster its pandemic resources.

The federal government’s push for overseas nurses followed a push by health authorities to get former healthcare professionals out of retirement due to the pandemic.

The NSW Health clip shows top health bureaucrats begging tens of thousands of former doctors, nurses, psychologists and dentists to return to hospitals to help the health system deal with the state’s surge in COVID cases.

The Australian Medical Control Authority has now doubled the number of practitioners in its sub-registries for the pandemic to more than 55,000 health professionals who have either retired or stopped working.

The pressure is now so high that the Australian Medical Association (AMA) is calling on NSW to consider hiring private sector workers who have no work due to the state’s ban on non-urgent surgery.

One of those dusting off his clothes is Bruce Dodd, 63, who returned to nursing at a major hospital in Sydney last month after retiring from 38 in intensive care in 2018.

“I’m still relatively young and my kidneys are pretty good – I mean, I’ve had some pain in my knees after going back to work full-time – so I would have felt guilty because I thought I still had something to give,” he said to Sydney Morning Herald.

“I can do some small things of my own to help and try to give the experience and knowledge I still have. The nurses who work by the bedside are doing a great job.”

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