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February 2019

Thousands start hospital careers

Thousands of doctors, nurses and midwives are beginning long and rewarding careers in Victoria’s world-class public hospitals.

Eight hundred and ten first-year medical interns and 2,500 nurses and midwife graduates started their careers in 2019, ushering in a new era of highly-trained medical professionals to care for patients in hospitals and health services all over Victoria.

Regional Victoria is a big winner with 290 of the medical interns to be based at rural and regional hospitals.

The State Government is funding 500,000 more specialist appointments in regional Victoria so people do not have to travel long distances to get the care they need.

Victoria’s next wave of doctors, nurses and midwives will receive the best education available, so they can offer the highest-quality care.

In 2018, the Government invested $90 million to train and develop more medical interns, nursing and midwifery graduates and allied health staff.

Legislation just introduced into Parliament will enshrine better nurse and midwife to patient ratios in law.

Once these improvements are made, the Government will begin a new round of changes that will see the total number of new nurses and midwives in Victoria reach 1,100.

The Government will also deliver on its commitment to create a $50 million nursing and midwifery workforce development fund, which will expand the existing registered nurse and midwife graduate program and establish a graduate program for enrolled nurses for the first time.

This will employ 400 enrolled nurses over the next four years with 100 of these positions to be available to TAFE graduates from next year – meaning Victorians will be able to study a Diploma of Nursing for free at TAFE, as one of the Government’s free priority TAFE courses, then start work as an enrolled nurse once they graduate.

The fund will also provide up to 400 postgraduate scholarships for current nurses and midwives to upgrade their skills, 400 places in programs such as the postgraduate midwifery employment program and refresher programs for 800 nurses and midwives currently registered but not practising so they can re‑enter the workforce.

It will also include $10 million for grants, scholarships, graduate jobs and refreshers for regional students and current nurses and midwives.

‘Congratulations to the hundreds of new doctors, nurses and midwives who are about to join our highly-trained army of health professionals,’ said Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos.

‘I wish them long and rewarding careers.

‘Growing our health system to give patients the very best care that they can count on, no matter where they live, is a never-ending job that we’re committed to.’