on air now

Australia’s chief nurse says Victoria is in desperate need of more aged care workers

Article image for Australia’s chief nurse says Victoria is in desperate need of more aged care workers

Australia’s chief nurse says Victoria desperately needs more aged care staff as workers exposed to COVID-19 are forced out of the workforce.

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Professor Alison McMillan, told Neil Mitchell we need “as many (staff) as we can find”.

The Department of Health and Human Services has launched a program to redeploy workers who have been laid off during the pandemic into aged care roles.

Professor McMillan said Qantas staff will be among the first redeployed, but others are welcome to apply.

“Anyone who has, particularly, an interest in aged care … we encourage you to go to the DHHS portal where they are looking to recruit people,” she said.

Those selected will be given training before they begin working as registered aged care assistants, helping with duties including meal distribution and preparation, supervision, linen, and assistance with recreational activities.

Despite Victoria’s significant coronavirus outbreaks in aged care, Professor McMillan says the Australian government learnt from the deadly outbreak at Sydney’s Newmarch House in April.

“We’ve done enormous amounts of work to learn from what was seen in Sydney,” she said.

“Once you get significant community transmission in any population it’s very difficult to avoid getting that into an aged care facility.”

Professor McMillan says Australia’s low mortality rate in aged care is “very pleasing”.

“One-in-1000 people in an aged care facility have passed away as a result of COVID,” she said.

“It’s a very low percentage in comparison to the United Kingdom, which was five per cent.”

Press PLAY below for the full interview.

If you want to register your interest in working in aged care visit