Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has applauded the West Australian Government for moving extra nurses into the hospital system and aged care.
The McGowan Government has announced an additional investment that will see around 100 doctors and 500 nurses working in WA, as well as 1100 graduate nurses this year and 1200 next year.
“With the WA hospital system under pressure, LASA welcomes the extra doctors and nurses,” Liz Behjat, state manager of LASA, said.
“We also praise the nursing occupations which have been added to aged care because there is a great growth in age services employment.
“There are almost 36,000 people who work in age services at the moment but this will grow to almost 58,000 in WA in 10 years, with about 180 a month extra full time aged care staff required in the next decade.”
In WA, there are more than 87,000 users of aged care services but this is expected to grow to more than 144,000 in 2030.
LASA also commended the $2 million local, national and international recruitment campaign that will drive health professionals to WA, with nine additional nursing occupations being added to the State Nominated Migration Program in WA.
“This is a good move which will get nurses to return home to Western Australia and the migration program will enable visa holders already in Australia to fill jobs not being met by local workers,” Behjat said.
She welcomed free nurses refresher courses, to provide a smooth transition back into the health and aged care system for them and a recruitment strategy that will attract experienced nurses who have taken time out of their careers.
“It will bolster existing staff, so they can increase their skills and knowledge,” Behjat said.
“We know getting the aged care workforce right is fundamental to getting care right through more staff, better skills and qualifications, career pathways and remuneration.”