Victoria’s $2.5m for COVID medico recruits

October 12, 2021 BY

Help needed: Victoria will recruit up to 1000 extra healthcare workers to support its struggling health system. Photo: FILE

VICTORIA will spend two-point-five million dollars to recruit up to one-thousand extra healthcare workers who are living overseas, to support the state’s struggling health system.

The international recruits will include Australians stranded overseas who have been wanting to move back, health minister Martin Foley said.

They will be nurses, doctors, midwives and allied health workers, who must have an existing employment contract with a Victorian health service, have an active professional registration and be ready to travel.

Mr Foley said the extra support was needed due to a “record number” of patients in hospitals and ambulance services.

The fresh recruitment drive comes after another 130 healthcare workers were added into the health system since August.

Mr Foley also announced $255 million to support frontline health workers, with an “allowance” for frontline staff of up to $60 per shift, until February 2022.

The state recorded 1466 new COVID-19 infections and eight deaths on Tuesday, the second consecutive day that daily cases in the state had declined.

There are 19,627 active cases, after 68,509 tests on Monday, while 36,383 Victorians were vaccinated at state-run hubs.

Four men and four women died on Monday, bringing the toll from the current outbreak to 101.

There are 675 people in hospital, of whom 144 are in ICU and 100 on a ventilator.

Meanwhile, agriculture and farming industry groups are calling for the State Government to urgently clarify employer and worker rights ahead of the vaccine mandate deadline.

The deadline for authorised workers to show proof they have received or booked their first vaccine or have a medical exemption is in three days.

The Victorian Farmers Federation, AUSVEG VIC, Fruit Growers Victoria and a number of other groups have issued a joint-call for clarity around unfair dismissal, privacy rights and employer obligations ahead of 15 October.

The groups have been speaking to Agriculture Victoria about their concerns, but they say “crucial” information on the vaccine mandate remains unclear.

The industry wants to know whether employers are at risk of being pursued by workers under industrial relations laws, and how employers can request for an employee’s vaccination status without breaching their privacy.

 

– BY AAP

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