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Thousands more workers to get $3,000 payment

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
A person holding Australian currency in the form of $50, $20 and $10 notes to signify the cash payments.
Healthcare workers in Victoria are set for a cash boost with $3,000 payments. (Source: Getty)

Healthcare workers in Victoria are set to get a $3,000 payment as the sector prepares for a busy winter flu season.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the Healthcare Worker Winter Retention and Surge payment would be handed out alongside other benefits like free meals.

The $353 million package will offer a cash boost of $3,000 to all staff working in public hospitals and ambulance services – including nurses, midwives, doctors, allied health professionals, paramedics, ward clerks and patient services assistants.

Thousands of health staff - in both clinical and non-clinical roles, who have also been working under immense pressure in critical roles - will be provided the payment, including those working in cleaning, food services and laundry services.

The package will also include free meals for workers who put their hands up to work overnight from July until the end of the year.

Andrews said the initiatives would not end the ongoing workforce challenges but were meant to represent a modest but meaningful way to support and retain staff.

To be eligible for the full package, workers will need to be employed by a public health service by July 1 and still be employed on September 30.

The payments will be made in two rounds, one after August 15 and one after September 30.

Those who start between July 1 and September 30 will be eligible for a pro-rata payment, providing an added incentive to help attract more staff to public hospitals.

More than 440 international healthcare workers have so far joined public hospitals since August last year, while up to 7,000 healthcare workers will be trained and hired under the $12 billion Pandemic Repair Plan.

“Our people are our health system’s greatest asset,” Andrews said.

“This is just one way for us to recognise and support their efforts and ensure nurses, doctors, paramedics, allied health and support staff are there when we need them most.”

Health Minister Martin Foley said healthcare workers had done an incredible job throughout the pandemic.

“I want to thank them for the extraordinary work they continue to do under unprecedented pressure,” Foley said.

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