11 August 2023

The NSW Government is doubling the incentives offered to healthcare workers to relocate to remote and rural areas, from $10,000 to $20,000 as part of its commitment to attract and retain more skilled staff in hard to fill and critical roles in regional and rural areas.

Attracting health workers to regional and rural and remote locations is a challenge for all health jurisdictions and governments.

Most regional health districts have nursing shortages, particularly around nurses with emergency skills for smaller facilities.

This was exacerbated by the former Governments wages cap as well as the pandemic impacts on the health workforce in rural areas.

Workforce and skill shortages are contributing to inequitable health outcomes, which is why it is crucial to grow the workforce in rural, regional and remote areas.

The Rural Health Workforce Incentive Scheme scheme provides for a range of financial and non-financial incentives above typical remuneration packages for candidates in eligible roles and locations.

Incentive packages include a range of additional benefits including salary boost, sign-on bonuses and retention payments of up to $20,000 per annum, relocation assistance and housing, additional leave, and access to training and education.

Doubling the incentive to $20,000 for our hardest to fill positions will encourage more workers to take up opportunities in remote communities with critical staff vacancies.

Packages are scaled and increase in value in more remote locations.

Premier Chris Minns said: “No matter where you live in NSW you should have access to vital services but that isn’t possible without our essential health workers.”

“I’m confident that by doubling the incentives on offer, we can attract more health staff to our regions.”

“We know there are staffing challenges across the system. It’s why my Government is making responsible decisions so that we can ensure when you turn up to a hospital there are health workers there to help.”

Health Minister Ryan Park said:

“I’m confident today’s announcement, together with our recently approved expansion of the Single Employer Model, will result in more clinicians choosing to further their careers in regional NSW.”

“I’m determined to tackle some of the key healthcare issues facing our regional communities including prioritising the regional health workforce”.