28 January 2008

Shortage of health professionals could lead to increase in Australian immigration

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New figures have revealed a massive shortage in health professionals in Australia. This could mean health services turn to Australian immigration in order to fill the roles. According to the Health Services Union, patients were denied over one million treatments last year because of decreasing numbers of professionals such as radiologists, social workers and physiotherapists.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said that it is trying a number of strategies to address the shortage, including overseas recruitment. Some of these professions can be found on the Australia Skilled Occupations List or the Australia Migration Occupation in Demand List.

Kathy Jackson, national secretary of the Health Services Union told the Sydney Morning Herald that the government has been focusing on recruiting doctors and nurses, and not thought about the rest of the workers which are needed. The Health Services Union has over 70,000 members who work in all areas of healthcare in Australia.

Australia needs skilled health workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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