Department of Health

Advice for frontline workers

If your normal work involves moving between health services, you can continue to do this to provide care and do your job.  

But you must not go to work if you are unwell.

For more details, see:

  • Duration: 1:17

Getting tested as a healthcare or aged care worker

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested. When you get tested, tell the person testing you that you are a healthcare or aged care worker to ensure your test results are given priority.

For more information, please see Assessment and testing criteria for COVID-19.

A healthcare worker is a worker who is a regulated health professional. This includes:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice
  • Chinese medicine (acupuncturists, Chinese herbal medicine practitioners and Chinese herbal dispenser)
  • chiropractic
  • dental (dentists, dental specialists, dental hygienists, dental prosthetists, dental therapists and oral health therapists)
  • medical
  • medical radiation practice (diagnostic radiographers, nuclear medicine technologists and radiation therapists)
  • nursing and midwifery (registered nurses, enrolled nurses, nurse practitioners, and midwives)
  • occupational therapy
  • optometry
  • pharmacy
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry
  • psychology.

Emergency accommodation for healthcare workers

Frontline worker accommodation is for workers leading the public health and safety response to COVID-19 who need support to quarantine or isolate safely.

For more information, please see Frontline worker accommodation.

Mental health resources

It's important to look after your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information on looking after your mental health is available on Mental health resources - COVID-19 on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria website.

COVID-19 health workforce response

Expressions of interest are sought for all clinical skillsets – doctors (general, limited and specialist registrants), nurses, midwives, allied health professionals (therapies and sciences) and paramedics. For further information please visit COVID-19 health worker response.

International healthcare professionals moving to Victoria

  • Are you fully vaccinated and looking for job opportunities in the Victorian health system?
  • Are you ready to return home to Australia or eager for a new adventure?
  • Would you like to combine lifestyle with career choice?

We continue to support health professionals who are currently located overseas and are seeking to work in health services across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

For more information and to check your eligibility, see Support for international healthcare professionals.

Hospital Surge Support Allowance for hospital workers and Ambulance Victoria paramedics

Find out who is eligible, how much the payments are, how long it will be in place and how to receive the Hospital Surge Support Allowance. 

About the allowance

The Hospital Surge Support Allowance encourages public hospital and Ambulance Victoria employees to continue their work in priority areas over the COVID-19 surge period. 

Who is eligible for the allowance?

  • Employees of health services (in full-time, part-time and fixed-term roles), Ambulance Victoria and Forensicare are eligible.
  • Health services’ casual bank staff are also eligible.
  • Employees who work patient-facing shifts are eligible. Patient-facing roles are employees in a healthcare setting who provide direct face-to-face care to patients in-person (not virtual care).  

Payment amounts

Hospital and Ambulance Victoria employees

Employees working in areas directly supporting face-to-face care to COVID-19 patients in health services and in Ambulance Victoria callouts (Red Zone) will be eligible to receive an allowance of $60 or $20 depending on their role. Red Zone working environments eligible for each level of Allowance are indicated below.

Workers in areas directly supporting patients in hospitals (Amber Zone) will be eligible to receive an allowance of $30 or $15 depending on their role. Amber Zone working environments eligible for each level of the allowances are indicated below.

Three employee groups working in the following eligible working environments:

Zone Group 1 - Doctors, nurses, midwifery, and allied health professionals, employed students, providing direct, face-to-face care for patients Group 2 - Ambulance Victoria paramedics Group 3 - Patient care attendants and assistants, orderlies, ward clerks, oral health staff, hotel services (e.g., cleaning staff located on wards), technicians that are directly engaging with patients in our hospitals

Red zone

  • Care of patients in Intensive Care Units in COVID-19 streaming health services
  • Care of COVID-19 patients in hospital ward settings (and COVID-19 hospital in the home settings where face-to-face visits are deployed)
  • Emergency departments and maternity assessment services in hospitals
  • Ambulance Victoria callouts and patient transfers
$60 $60 $20

Amber zone

  • Care of patients in Intensive Care Units in non-COVID-19 streaming health services
  • Care of non-COVID-19 patients in all other hospital ward settings (including maternity and acute mental health settings)
  • Care of patients in suspected COVID (SCOVID) areas
  • Urgent care centres
$30 - $15

How long will the allowance be in place?

The Hospital Surge Support Allowance will be in place from 11 October 2021 until 10 February 2022. 

How to apply

  • The allowance will be provided to hospital employees by their health service in accordance with existing health service payroll processes, whether those are monthly or fortnightly. 
  • A lump sum payment or backpay may be required while the program is being established. 
  • Health services are required to identify these payments within their systems. Some services may require workers or managers to complete timesheets to claim for the allowance.

Who is not eligible for the allowance?

The following workers/arrangements are not eligible for the Hospital Surge Support Allowance:

  • workers who are not direct employees of public health services, Ambulance Victoria or Forensicare
  • workers in testing and vaccination roles/sites
  • those with working-from-home arrangements or providing telehealth services while working remotely
  • workers in administrative, office management, communication, clerical, research and other functions that are not patient facing
  • workers in ‘on call’ arrangements where they are not called in
  • workers employed through third-party agencies or who are otherwise not directly employed

The Hospital Surge Support Allowance will not be payable during absences on leave or where the employee is otherwise absent from work.

Reviewed 02 December 2021

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