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$10,000 pay rise for moving to the regions

·2-min read
Dubbo in NSW and money
The NSW government is offering a bunch of sweeteners to get healthcare workers to move to the country. (Source: Getty)

The NSW government is offering nurses, doctors and other clinical staff up to $10,000 in incentives to move to the bush.

The $883 million funding package over four years, announced ahead of this week’s state Budget will hopefully entice workers into regional and rural areas that struggle to attract and retain clinical staff.

The funding will target “hard-to-fill” roles in rural and regional areas, with the government also likely to cover worker’s relocation costs.

The incentives will vary according to the worker’s situation but could include a salary boost, sign-on bonus, retention payments, extra leave and subsidised access to training and education.

Workers may also get help to cover childcare, transport and housing costs as part of their incentive packages.

“These incentive packages will be tailored to not only attract more clinicians to these services but help retain those hard-working staff and encourage them to put down roots,” Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said.

The government is also looking to train up the workforce to ensure more clinical staff are equipped to work in regional areas.

This includes expanding training positions for nurse-practitioner roles - a qualification that allows nurses to treat certain medical conditions without a doctor present.

“The expansion of these training positions will see people in rural NSW receiving the highest level of quality care and a brighter future in terms of health outcomes,” Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said.

The government also plans to increase training positions for Aboriginal nurse cadetships, nursing graduates and medical interns, and expand rural generalist and procedural training positions.

There will also be more secondment opportunities for healthcare workers based in cities to “try out” working in regional NSW.

The government also plans to introduce a HECS incentive package for allied health professionals, which includes dieticians, dental hygienists, speech therapists and more.

“We believe that access to the best-quality health care shouldn’t be a postcode lottery,” Treasurer Matt Kean said.

“That’s why we’re recruiting 10,148 full-time equivalent staff right across NSW over the four years, in what is the nation’s largest-ever health workforce boost, and 3,800 of these positions will be in regional areas.”

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