The world is short-staffed. And this is especially felt by the health sector.
Australia needs more health workers.
According to the report prepared by the International Centre on Nurse Migration, Sustain and Retain in 2022 and Beyond, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global shortage of nurses was estimated at 5.9 million. This has been exacerbated by the pandemic. And this skill shortage is across the health sector.
Australia has not been spared of the shortage of health workers and the Australian Commonwealth government and the different state governments had been implementing programs to attract overseas health workers to tackle staff shortages.
If you are a health worker and is interested to migrate you might be interested in the following support and programs offered by the different state governments.
*Note that all health professionals wishing to practice in Australia must hold Australian registration, have appropriate levels of education, skills, English language proficiency and experience and the appropriate visa to work in Australia.
The Victorian government has announced that it will be providing relocation support for international and returning Australian health and mental health workers who have secured a job in a public health service.
This program is for health professionals who:
- are currently living overseas, which may include Australian citizens returning home or non-residents who meet Commonwealth visa requirements
- are international candidates whose occupation is on the Skilled Occupation list (SOL) and
- have secured a job with a Victorian health service between 1 April 2022 and 30 June 2023 and intend to work within the Victorian public health system for at least two years, and
- can access relevant Australian registration or accreditation for their profession
- are fully vaccinated (including travelling families) for COVID-19 by a Therapeutic Goods Administration approved or recognised vaccine.
The support is for international travel allowance to help with relocation costs:
- $10,000 for healthcare workers who secure a role in a public metropolitan health service
- $13,000 for healthcare workers who secure a role in a rural or regional health service
The money will be transferred to the employing health service.
SA Health is looking for internationally trained health professionals to express their interest to work for them in South Australia.
They are looking for international applicants with transferable skills and qualifications for medical, nursing and midwifery, and allied and scientific health positions.
The guidelines for the online application can be found in the SA Health website.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, SA Health will sponsor your visa and help you work through the visa process.
New South Wales
The New South Wales government announced that the state will have a $4.5B recruitment drive to increase its health workforce by more than 10,000 staff over the next 4 years. This included giving a one-off ‘appreciation payments’ and raising the public sector wage cap.
Some regional NSW districts such as the Western NSW Local Health District are also recruiting overseas medical and nursing professionals who are registered or close to completing their AHPRA registration process and have an IELTS score of at least 7. They can offer incentives of up to $10,000 and can provide sponsorship for the visa.
Queensland is looking for international applicants with transferable skills and qualifications in the following professions:
- Nursing and midwifery
- Allied Health
And information for overseas application can be found in the Queensland Health website.
If you get a position with Tasmania's Department of Health, they may be able to provide vis sponsorship either permanent or temporary sponsorship.
They can also provide relocation support which may include:
- reimbursing your travel expenses (private motor vehicle use, rail fares, economy class airfares)
- contribution to transfer of furniture and personal effects
- temporary accommodation
- registration support
- immigration and visa support.
More information can be found in the Tasmania Department of Health website.
The Norther Territory regularly have job opportunities throughout the territory for registered nurses, enrolled nurses and a variety of internationally trained Medical Officers or International Medical Graduates (IMGs).
For assistance with the application process, IMGs may contact:
For Top End Health Service (TEHS) job enquirers:
More information can be found in the Northern Territory Government NT Health website.
Western Australia is also recruiting international health professionals and often advertise job vacancies on the WA Health Jobs Board
The WA government had previously offered relocation incentives and offered experienced health professional reimbursement for their relocation costs if they are appointed to a permanent or fixed term contract of 12 months or longer with WA Health on, or after, 1 July 2022 and up to 30 September 2022.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
The ACT government has a national campaign to recruit more nurses and midwives to the ACT.
The ACT Nurses and Midwifery Enterprise Agreement 2020-2022 contains the provisions for the reimbursement for relocation expenses, allowances, etc.
Reimbursement for relocation expenses can be provided to interstate or overseas employees.
The relevant pre-determined ceiling is as below:
Single with no dependants
Additional Payment per dependant (up to 6)
Additional payment per dependant (in excess of 6)
Information as to what the ACT offers to nurses and midwives can be found in the ACT Health website.
Work Visa Lawyers has extensive experience in assisting international health workers apply for a visa in Australia.
You can also book an appointment online.
Our team of experience Immigration lawyers and Migration Agents will be happy to assist you.
International Centre on Nurse Migration, Sustain and Retain in 2022 and Beyond, chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.icn.ch/system/files/2022-01/Sustain%20and%20Retain%20in%202022%20and%20Beyond-%20The%20global%20nursing%20workforce%20and%20the%20COVID-19%20pandemic.pdf
Victoria Department of Health website, Support for international healthcare workers, https://www.health.vic.gov.au/jobs/migrating-to-victoria/support-for-international-healthcare-workers
The Guardian, “NSW to raise public service wage cap, pay health workers $3,000 ‘appreciation payments’ “ Tamsin Rose, 6 Jun 2022 - https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/06/nsw-to-raise-public-service-wage-cap-pay-health-workers-3000-appreciation-payments
New South Wales Government, NSW Government lifts wages and recognises health workers, https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/budget-2022-public-sector-wages#:~:text=The%20policy%20will%20apply%20to,of%20the%20COVID%2D19%20pandemic.
New South Wales Government Health, Western NSW Local Health District, https://wnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/join-us/diversity-inclusion/overseas-trained-professionals/
SA Health - International applicant guidelines https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/careers/how+to+apply/international+applicant+guidelines
Queensland Health - https://www.health.qld.gov.au/employment/overseas
Tasmanian Department of Health - https://www.health.tas.gov.au/
Northern Territory - https://health.nt.gov.au/ ]
Western Australia - https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Careers/International-applicants