Wednesday, April 24, 2024

NSW’s $97m health scholarship plan

The NSW Government has announced it will invest $97 million in health study subsidies to attract staff and retain talent in the state’s public health system.

The 2,000 annual scholarships are set to support up to 850 nurses, 400 medical graduates with a major focus on regional and rural medical interns, 150 midwives, and a range of other important roles such as paramedics, Aboriginal health practitioners and allied health roles in areas such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy, NSW Premier, Chris Minns said today.

Students undertaking a healthcare degree will be eligible for a subsidy on their study expenses, if they commit to working a minimum of five years in the NSW public health system.

Starting from 1 January 2024, 2,000 students will be eligible to apply for a $12,000 study subsidy, $4,000 a year for three years.

“Currently our health and hospital staff are leaving because they are under extreme pressure. The NSW Labor Government will begin the work to help improve conditions, recruitment and retention,” said Premier Minns.

He said applications for the new subsidy will be prioritised based on specific health professions and particular locations of need in NSW.

“The people who look after us need more support. There is widespread burnout and fatigue in our hospitals,” the Premier said.

“Under this Government we want to boost recruitment of the next generation of nurses, midwives, doctors and allied health practitioners for our public health system, that will take pressure off and ensure patients get the care they need.

“I’ve spoken to paramedics and nurses about what it is really like in our emergency wards – every day, every night and on every shift – they’re not just tired, they’re exhausted and they’re leaving. I’m determined to turn that around.”

Minister for Health, Ryan Park said the package will help train the paramedics, nurses, doctors, and allied health professionals needed to repair the NSW hospital system.

“Those already studying before the scheme starts can make the same commitment to working a minimum of five years in the NSW public health system and access a one off payment of $8,000 when they graduate,” the Minister said.

“This transition scheme will be available to another 2,000 students each year, for the next three years and demonstrates this Government’s commitment to ensuring we attract new staff and support and retain the talent we already have in the NSW public health system,” he said.

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