Hunter New England Health welcomes new medical staff

THE Hunter will receive a major boost to its health workforce, with 109 medical graduate intern doctors starting work in local public hospitals this month.

Interns are medical graduates who have completed their medical degree and are required to complete a supervised year of practice before becoming independent practitioners.

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The interns will work with and learn from experienced and highly skilled medical staff from NSW Health.

The new doctors will enter a training program with networked hospitals throughout the state, including Port Stephens health facilities, providing formal and on-the-job training.

Each junior doctor will rotate between metropolitan, regional and rural hospitals for a diverse experience during a two-year contract.

They will also rotate across specialties including surgery, medicine and emergency medicine.

“These 109 junior doctors are a shot in the arm for Hunter New England,” Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley said.

“They’ll learn from the best and they’ll lift the standard of care for locals.

“I’m proud to be part of a Government that’s developing our next generation of doctors.

“It’s a huge step towards rebuilding our healthcare workforce.

“We’re backing these doctors to learn and we’re backing our health workers with better pay.”

More than 100 overseas registered nurses are also set to start work across the Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD).

The nurses have been recruited from the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of an international recruitment effort led by HNELHD.

Minister for Regional Health Ryan Park said the nurses will start work across the District’s hospitals in the coming months.

“I would like to welcome these experienced and skilled overseas-based nurses, and thank them for choosing a rewarding career with NSW Health,” Mr Park said.

“The NSW Government is committed to attracting and retaining more healthcare workers to regional and rural areas to ensure people living in these communities can receive high-quality, timely care close to home.

“International recruitment is just one of the many strategies the NSW Government is undertaking to attract and retain nurses and midwives to rural areas.”

HNELHD Director of Nursing and Midwifery Elizabeth Grist said the incoming nurses will bring experience in areas such as emergency, surgical care, intensive care, paediatrics, and medical nursing.

“We are currently supporting these nurses through the visa and immigration process, and anticipate their arrival over the coming months,” Ms Grist said.

“Our District is a wonderful part of the world to live in and we look forward to welcoming our colleagues, and their families, into our vibrant communities as well as our workplaces.”

Hunter New England Health emphasised that the new medical personnel will be rotating on an adhoc basis, so precise staff numbers for Port Stephens locations are unknown at this time.

By Simon EKINS

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