May 20, 2022

59,067 staff vacancies in aged care: “The situation is totally unsustainable”

60000 staff vacancies in aged care

The new research, conducted by Evaluate and the University of Notre Dame and commissioned by Catholic Health Australia, reveals some 23,089 vacancies in hospitals and 59,067 in aged care.

The research was conducted by drawing on survey data from Catholic health providers across Australia and extrapolating figures for the entire Australian health system. Among the findings:

  • 12,065 registered nurse vacancies in Australian hospitals
  • 1,454 midwife vacancies in Australian hospitals
  • 3,891 support staff vacancies in Australian hospitals
  • 45,561 qualified aged care worker vacancies in the aged care system
  • 1,760 registered nurse vacancies in the aged care system

“The researchers in this study were actually conservative in their modelling, so there’s a chance the real numbers are even higher than these startling figures.

“Our hospitals and aged care providers just cannot go on with this acute understaffing. The situation right now is totally unsustainable.

“If these numbers don’t shock the new Federal Health Minister, I don’t know what will.”

Mr Garcia called on the incoming Health Minister to urgently champion a range of reforms to help alleviate the crisis.

“In a competitive global market we also need to think about incentives like organising housing, school placements, and childcare for newly arrived health workers and their families – anything to make their lives easier and lessen the burden of moving here.

“We also need to remove visa and registration costs for both health workers and their families. And we must offer a solid and certain path to residency – the importance of this factor cannot be overstated.

“We also need the government to ensure and make affordable flexible, out-of-hours childcare options for healthcare workers. We have put a range of suggested childcare reforms on the table for the government, but what is clear is that reform is now urgent.

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  1. I believe nurse training needs a complete overhaul. To get people back on the floor we need to re introduce hospital based training, with blocks of theory every few months and one full day per week sessions in a classroom setting.
    Nursing is a hands on profession and the trainees need that. Learning from a book just doesn’t cut it.
    By re formulating the way student nurses are trained, by getting them back into the hospital wards will improve the nurses shortage. The hospital would have 1st year trainees learning the basics, 2nd years will learn and perform less basic tasks and so on. Each theory block relates to what is expected of them at each stage of the traineeship.
    Nursing is a truly wonderful profession,
    and the best way to become a good nurse is to be hands on, well trained, disciplined and paid appropriately.
    Get nurse training back into the hospitals. It will help with many problems with our staff shortages and help make the trainee aware of what it is to be a nurse. University style learning isn’t the way. Hospital training is.

  2. How about allowing all the unvaccinated aged care workers back to work. We know now that Covid spreads with or without the vax. Those that chose not to have it did so for strong personal and health reasons. They are sitting at home on no incomes and could fill many thousands of those vacancies immediately. Drop the political control over health, and get on with caring for our elderly properly!

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