How many healthcare workers does Australia need?
The Australian Government predicted a future shortage of nurses in Australia in 2012. Their prediction claims that nursing will experience a shortage of 109,000 nurses by 2025. This prediction also noted that a side-effect of the shortage will cause a further dependency upon bringing in overseas healthcare professionals.
How many healthcare professionals does Australia need to maintain balance in the industry? According to WHO (World Health Organisation), “There is no absolute norm regarding the ‘right’ ratio of physicians or nurses to population.” However, there are factors used in determining the need for more healthcare professionals:
Generally, shortages or surpluses in healthcare professionals are ascertained based on using comparisons with other countries of similar size/population and level of development. The key word is “adequate” when it comes to having the right number of healthcare professionals.
How do shortages affect you?
Longer shifts/multiple shifts – You may have to work longer hours or multiple shifts to compensate for shortages in healthcare professionals. Longer and multiple shifts lead to health issues, fatigue, and other physical and emotional risks.
Loss of healthcare professionals – As the need for more and more nurses and other support healthcare workers worsens, the pressure causes some to become disheartened, which results in them exiting the profession. Pay rates, challenging working conditions, and heavy workloads caused by shortages create such problems.
Influx of overseas healthcare workers – Shortages create the need to bring in overseas doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to compensate for the current need. Keep in mind they are only coming to help, not take your jobs.
Reduces the quality of care – When you are trying to take care of more patients during your shifts, you aren’t able to spend the kind of time you would like caring for patients. Some patients require more time because of their healthcare needs.
How can the shortage be fixed?
There is no magic formula that will fix the shortage in the Australian healthcare field. However, better pay, better working conditions, and more appreciation for their work goes a long way in keeping current healthcare professionals working and to encourage a new generation of people to enter this career field.
How does HCA help healthcare professionals?
When you work with HCA, you are part of a family. You get to enjoy the support and appreciation of consultants and colleagues who are dedicated to help you succeed in your healthcare career.
Rural and remote placement with HCA helps you find jobs that match your skills and provides you with a wide range of shifts. You also get to enjoy further education and training, freedom and flexibility regarding when and where you work, QuickPay service, and more valuable resources.
Choose from more than 1,500 shifts available online through HCA’s system and start working as an agency nurse/healthcare professional right away.