03 April 2024

The first 2,000 health worker study subsidies will be awarded next week to new and graduating health students across NSW.

It comes as the NSW Health workforce has recorded the largest annual increase during the NSW Government's first year in office, the Health Minister Ryan Park will announce in a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) today.

NSW Health added over 3,000 more workers between February 2023 to February 2024.

This includes over 1,200 more nurses, 150 more paramedics, 300 more doctors and over 400 more allied health workers.

It brings the total NSW Health workforce to over 139,000 full-time equivalent staff.

And in just over two months since applications opened, 2,030 new and graduating healthcare students cross NSW will be informed that they have been awarded study subsidies.

This includes 840 nursing students, 610 allied health, 241 medical students and 144 paramedical students.

The health worker study subsidies are a part of a series of measures to rebuild the healthcare workforce, including:

  • Beginning to implement safe staffing levels of nurses and midwives beginning in our emergency departments;
  • saving 1,112 temporary nurses by making them permanent;
  • abolishing the wages cap and delivering record pay increases for nurses, paramedics and other health workers as well as salary packaging; and
  • beginning to roll out 500 additional paramedics in regional, rural and remote communities

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Ryan Park:

“I have made rebuilding our health workforce a top priority – because when you improve the conditions of our workers, you improve health outcomes, it's as simple as that.

“This surge in our health workforce is a promising development.

“Let's be clear though, there's plenty more to be done and everyone knows – from health workers to the patients they care for – there remain major structural challenges in terms of shortages and retention.

“We won't undo 12 years of underinvestment in our health system overnight, but we're going to work closely with our workers and their representatives every step of the way, because there's too much at stake.

“I am very encouraged by the progress of the rollout of our health worker study subsidies, which will be landing in the mailboxes of students as early as next week.

“But this is just of a comprehensive suite of measures to build a capable, engaged and supported health workforce."