A Minns Labor Government will invest $76 million in health study subsidies to attract staff and retain talent in the NSW public health system.
Students undertaking a healthcare degree will be eligible for a subsidy on their study expenses, if they commit to working a minimum of five years in the NSW public health system.
This includes students studying nursing, midwifery, paramedicine, allied health, and medicine.
From 1 January 2024, 2,000 healthcare students a year will be eligible to apply for a study subsidy of $12,000 to help pay for their degree - paid at $4,000 a year for three years.
Applications will be open to any healthcare student or graduate who makes a five year commitment to the NSW public health system, and applications will be prioritised based on geographic areas and vocations of need.
Current students already enrolled or who start studying before 1 January 2024 will not miss out. They can make the same commitment and access a one off payment of $8,000 when they graduate. This transition scheme will be available to another 2,000 students a year, for the next three years.
Currently our health and hospital staff in NSW are leaving because there are better offers, better wages and better conditions elsewhere.
This means less workers in our hospitals and more pressure on our hospital system and the people who work in it.
The cost of study is a financial burden for prospective healthcare workers - Labor’s plan helps our health services maximise recruitment in a key area of need in NSW.
This policy will complement our plan to remove the wages cap, which unfairly keeps wages low for our key frontline workers such as paramedics, nurses and hospital staff.
That means more nurses, paramedics, and healthcare workers in the NSW public health system - guaranteed.
After 12 years under the Liberals and Nationals, our hospitals and health system has been left understaffed and over-stretched.
As a result, hospital and treatment wait times have continued to escalate.
Under Dominic Perrottet and the Liberals and Nationals, people in NSW have to wait longer to get an ambulance, longer to be treated in an emergency department and longer for important non-urgent surgeries.
Labor’s fresh start for health and hospitals in NSW
Labor has a comprehensive long-term plan to redesign and repair the health system and deliver a fresh start for health in New South Wales. A Minns Labor Government will:
- Scholarships for thousands of nurses, doctors, paramedics, and allied health workers each year to staff our hospitals.
- Implement Safe Staffing levels in NSW hospitals. It will help with workloads; it will take pressure off nurses and ensure they can treat patients with the care they deserve and need.
- An additional 500 rural and regional paramedics in Labor’s first term, supported by three new helicopter ambulance bases.
- Returning 600 beds to Western Sydney after 365 were across NSW by the Liberals since 2016.
- Upgrades to Canterbury, Fairfield, Mount Druitt and Blacktown Hospitals and opening the new Eurobodalla Hospital at Level 4.
- A commitment to build Rouse Hill Hospital including an emergency department.
Quotes attributable to Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader:
“The people who look after us need more support. There is widespread burnout, fatigue and under-resourcing in our hospitals.
“I’ve heard stories of dozens of experienced ED nurses who had quit, taking with them irreplaceable practical knowledge and experience.
“I’ve spoken to paramedics and nurses about what it is really like in our emergency wards - every day, every night and on every shift - they’re not just tired, they’re exhausted and they’re leaving in droves because this government isn’t listening.
“I want to boost recruitment of the next generation of paramedics, nurses and doctors for our public health system, that will take pressure off and ensure patients get the care they need.”
Quotes attributable to Ryan Park, NSW Shadow Minister for Health:
“This package will help train the paramedics, nurses, doctors, and allied health professionals we need to begin the work to repair our hospital system.
“The NSW health system cannot cope with another four years of Band-Aid solutions.”