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Aug 24, 2006
More Nurses needed in Australia
- Maria Theresa S. Samante Email this article

Due to continuous aging population, Australia is still looking for more overseas nurses to meet the current shortage in the said post, aside from more than 150 overseas nurses who have been recruited by the NSW Government.


According to government survey, 27% of over 46,000 workers plan to retire in the next five years and 57% are set to go within the next 10 years. The survey also shows that nurses who want to leave their post sooner are being offered more asking them to stay and hold the senior post.


Reports also show that the shortage of nurses is basically in clinical and mental health care sector.


“These finding shows that should retirement should be realized, the NSW public sector will face several consecutive waves of retirement. Most importantly, many agencies will confront immediate challenges as employees start to retire within the next five years,” as stated in the report.


The General Secretary of the Public Service Association of NSW Steve Turner said that more action should be taken at state and federal levels to retain the staff.


“Unless serious attention is given to retaining and attracting quality people we are going to have serious front-line service shortages,” Mr. Turner said.


He also added that he was concerned that while the shortage approached, politician were making promises to cut public sector number, 5% for the Government and 29% for the Opposition.


Although the State Government exerted their effort to retain the nurses by pay hike, cutting the Federal Government’s fund to train nurses caused the shortage become worse.


Spokesman for the business group ABL State Chamber, Paul Ritchie said the public sector was going to have to compete with the private sector for skilled labor but it would cost the Government more.


Chris Raper, the Assistant Director-General of the Premiers Department, said that the report was not evidence of a crisis rather it reveal where the Government needs to increase its efforts in retention.


“This is the largest survey of its type that has ever been undertaken in Australia,” Mr. Raper added.


He also said that the problem was demographic; the aging population caused the shortage rather than by any policies of the Government.


Public service administration like engineering, human resources, information technology, and teaching are also expected to suffer shortage.

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