Boost For New Regional Doctors, Nurses And Midwives

The Andrews Labor Government is investing $2.4 million to boost Victoria’s rural and regional hospital workforce and keep young doctors, nurses and midwives who are starting their careers in country areas.

The funding will allow regional hospitals to offer two-year contracts to their medical interns for the first time, so they can undertake more of their training in regional areas.

Around 820 first-year medical interns and 2,550 new nurses and midwife graduates have just begun their long and rewarding careers in hospitals and health services across Victoria.

Regional Victoria is a big winner with 300 medical interns based at rural and regional hospitals – including 35 interns starting internships as part of the Victorian Rural Generalist Training Program, which can lead to careers as a GP.

More than 460 new nurses and midwives will start their careers in regional Victoria this year.

In addition, the Labor Government invested $117.8 million in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 to recruit and train more nurses, midwives and frontline health workers.

The Government is also introducing further improvements to Nurse and Midwife to Patient ratios that will see a total of 1,100 extra nurses and midwives employed in Victorian public hospitals.

We are also delivering on our $50 million Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Development Fund, which is expanding the existing Registered Nurse and Midwife Graduate Program and has established a graduate program for Enrolled Nurses for the first time. Around $10 million of this Fund is dedicated to training in rural and regional Victoria.

The Fund will provide 400 postgraduate scholarships for current nurses and midwives to upgrade their skills, 400 places in postgraduate programs, up to 150 places in postgraduate midwifery employment programs and refresher programs for 800 nurses and midwives currently registered but not practicing, so they can re-enter the workforce.

The Government has also launched a landmark $1.25 million new training and skills program for non-clinical workers in Victorian health services, with 100 scholarships on offer.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“We’re growing our regional health workforce to meet demand and it’s great to see hundreds of young doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals taking up places in regional communities that need it most.”

“I wish our new interns long and rewarding careers in Victoria’s world-class public health system. They will make a real difference to regional and rural areas, caring for our most vulnerable and saving lives.”

“We continue to back our dedicated health professionals with the training they need to grow their skills and deliver the very best care to patients, no matter where they live.”