17 November 2009
South Australia needs nurses to emigrate to Australia
Overseas nurses are desperately needed to emigrate to Australia to solve the shortage of nurses in South Australia, a business association CEO has said.
The Australian Nursing Federation has released an estimation that South Australia is short of around 500 nurses, and that number will rise to around 5000 by 2020. The South Australian state government has recruited an extra 3700 nurses since 2002, bringing the total employed in the public sector to about 14,700, but with around half of South Australia’s nurses are aged between 45 and 55 thousands are set to retire in the next decade or two.
Business SA chief executive Peter Vaughan described nurses and midwives as a “precious resource” and said Australia should be actively recruiting qualified nurses and midwives from overseas to fill these shortages.
"Without removing standards, we must remove barriers," he said.
"Open the doors, don't lower the standards, but make it easier because then you're saying `we welcome you' rather than `don't come to us'."
Mr Vaughan said South Australia faces an ageing population, fewer people under 30, and lower levels of education than the other states, so it is natural to bring people in from overseas to fill jobs.
The Australian Nursing Federation state secretary Elizabeth Dabars said the federation was open to the idea of streamlining the processes to bring in more overseas-trained nurses to fill nursing jobs.
"As long as all the moral and ethical issues are addressed, and the communication issues and we do not lose the focus on local graduates and recruits, then of course we are very welcoming of diverse people," she said.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to Australia.