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poaching doctors

Poaching health-care workers made easy

During the 2015-2016 financial year, more than 2600 health workers were brought into Australia via government-sponsored 457 visas on the basis they were needed for jobs that could not be filled by Australians. Of these 1692 were general practitioners and resident medical officers, 228 registered nurses, 35 specialists, 38 psychiatrists, 28 surgeons, 19 anesthetists and 20 midwives.

The high intake of health specialists occurred despite a senate inquiry in June 2015 where the Australian Nurses and Midwife Foundation (AN&MF) stated that there were 3000 unemployed graduate nurses, often with high HECS debts, while about 1 in 4 nursing positions were being filled by 457 skilled migrant intake[1]. They also claimed that many of the overseas nurses were victims of underpayment and exploitation because they live and work under threat of deportation[2]. The inquiry was also told that importing health workers was not solving the shortages of health professionals in rural areas because most imported workers went to the cities.

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