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Healthcare still in high demand with job ads on the rise

Female nurse comforting a patient in the hospital

When coronavirus reached Australia, it had a sweeping and widespread ramifications on the job market, with many employees being made redundant, businesses shutting down or reducing staff hours. But it was a time that saw the country’s healthcare sector increasingly busy.

This is unlikely to come as a shock to many, with Australia’s healthcare sector placed under huge demand during the height of the health crisis. But despite most states now recording zero to no cases and many restrictions easing, jobs in healthcare continue to be topping the list for number of job ads, and healthcare workers are in high demand.

Here are the areas that are in greatest need of workers, so you can see where there could be opportunities for you, or think about how to shape your job search.

 

Nursing

It won’t come as a surprise to many to know that nursing jobs were ranked number one on SEEK’s most needed jobs in Australia, with hospitals opening special wards dedicated to treating patients with coronavirus, thousands of testing centres across the country and telehealth nurses in high demand. This demand is showing no sign of waning, with the nursing profession predicted to experience job growth of 11.7 percent within the next five years.

The pandemic highlighted the challenges that already existed within the system of maintaining sufficient numbers of experienced health professionals and carers to meet the growing demands from an ageing population and increases in chronic disease. Several drivers have been announced to help support and strengthen the country’s healthcare systems and address these challenges. These include the government’s budget announcement of $467 billion over the forward estimates dedicated to deliver the essential health services detailed under the Long Term National Health Plan, and AHPRA signalling a willingness to fast-track the re-registration of clinicians.

 

Aged care and disability

Aged care and disability work has also seen an increase in demand for candidates. This has been the case for several years due to the gradually ageing population, and the number of Australians aged 65 and over predicted to more than double within the next 40 years. And this was before coronavirus, when the elderly and those with disabilities became identified as some of the most vulnerable to the virus.

Furthermore, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety which began in 2018 has shone a light on some of the inadequacies of the sector that have gone previously ignored, and revealed that staffing issues and unmet demands of patients were among the highest common concerns. With the final report being announced in February 2021, it is expected that there will be a much greater emphasis placed on quality care and employing candidates with correct qualifications and experience.

 

Psychology, counselling and social work

While the impact of the coronavirus has indeed been staggering worldwide, it is not yet clear just how great the effect will be on the mental health of the population in years to come. Australian youth mental health support service Orygen found that health professionals including GPs, psychiatrists, and emergency physicians were experiencing significant growth in the number of patients seeking treatment and support for their mental health during the pandemic. Furthermore, Manager of Lifeline Melbourne Meredith Dalton told Bayside Group’s Work Conversations podcast that the crisis support hotline had experienced a 30 percent increase in calls since March.

The need for community social workers, tele-counsellors and psychologists amongst other mental health professionals is high in the current climate, and this number is only expected to grow as the full social and economic effects of the pandemic, such as job losses, relationship breakdowns and financial stress, are felt.

Healthcare professionals in several areas are in high demand, and though it is a competitive market, for those with the right skills, experience and attitude, there are many roles available. Contact Austra Health today if you are looking for a job in nursing, allied health or social care.

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