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Health services in Tamworth, Manilla, Gunnedah, and Barraba are stronger thanks to the NSW Liberal and Nationals $883 million regional health workforce incentives scheme, announced in last years budget.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said 17 health workers had been attracted to the region, while 30 had chosen to stay thanks to the scheme, which is making a real difference in the region.

“Our communities are benefitting from the NSW Government’s $883 million commitment to recruiting and retaining health workers in the bush,” Mr Anderson said.

“We have seen more workers choosing to come to the region like nurses and midwives across the industry, but also, importantly social workers, pathologists, speech pathologists and medical officers.

“The incentives scheme backs in our push to provide health worker accommodation across the region in towns like Quirindi, Gunnedah and in Tamworth.

“This funding is also about keeping our health professionals here. Ensuring we don’t lose our neighbours, and our friends to other health districts.”

Announced as part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget, the $883 million incentive scheme targets critical and hard-to-fill roles including nurses and midwives, pharmacists, allied health professionals and pathologists as well as support and ancillary staff.

Hard-to-fill, critical roles in rural and remote locations can be incentivised by offering health workers recruitment and retention incentive packages worth up to $10,000 per annum plus up to $10,000 in other incentives.

Incentives can include a range of benefits, such as a salary boost, sign-on bonuses, additional leave, professional development, study leave and assistance, assistance with childcare expenses, assistance with transport and housing support, and access to training and education.

In addition to the incentive package, a range of targeted measures are being funded which will support the NSW Government in building a pipeline of future nurses, doctors and other clinical staff who are based in the bush and have the skills, confidence and expertise needed to work in regional health care facilities.

The $883 million incentives investment includes funding for:

  • Tailored incentive programs for healthcare staff to take up and retain positions in regional, rural and remote NSW – which can include a tailored incentive package of up to $10,000 plus additional leave, relocation reimbursement, professional development and study assistance;
  • Increased training positions for nursing graduates, nurse practitioners and medical interns;
  • Expanding rural generalist and procedural training positions;
  • Career development and secondment opportunities for healthcare workers based in regional, rural and remote NSW, including for those based in metropolitan areas to ‘try out’ working in regional NSW;
  • Increased numbers of Aboriginal nurse cadetships, and
  • HECS incentive package for allied health professionals.

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