Retired Nurses and Healthcare Workers Return to AHPRA Sub-Register to Fight Covid
Tens of thousands of retired doctors, nurses and pharmacists are urged to re-enter the workforce to help the overwhelmed system.
Thousands of retired doctors, nurses, psychologists and pharmacists are urged to consider returning to the workforce to step up the fight against the coronavirus.
Nearly 29,000 healthcare workers across Australia who recently left work have been allowed to return to full scope of practice for up to 12 months if they answer the call to join the response Covid-19.
The Australian Healthcare Practitioner Regulatory Agency has now added 55,000 people to its sub-register since the start of the pandemic, creating a pool of opt-out practitioners from which to draw additional workforce.
The medical watchdog contacted more than 8,000 people in NSW on Wednesday to let them know they could be asked to join the healthcare system, which is grappling with a high number of cases while losing weight. staff because they are forced into solitary confinement.
Of the 12,810 active cases in NSW, 1,232 people are admitted to hospital with 242 intensive care patients, 122 of whom require ventilation.
NSW Health has already issued a public call for retired nurses to return to work, while final year medical students have been registered as medical assistants to help with the crisis.
Modeling from the Burnet Institute, which underpins the Berejiklian government’s plan to reopen, predicts that intensive care admissions in New South Wales will peak at around 950 in early November.
The modeling warns that already overcrowded hospitals will be overwhelmed, while Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has acknowledged that the healthcare system is under significant pressure.
NSW health officials confirmed on Wednesday evening that another major hospital in Sydney had been hit by a Covid-19 outbreak.
Liverpool Hospital in the city’s southwest over the past week saw 24 patients and five staff members infected during six separate exhibition site events at the hospital across multiple wards.
The hospital was the site of another outbreak in early August – after a partially vaccinated nursing student tested positive for the virus – which was linked to 10 deaths.
Contact tracers are still working to determine the source of the last infection.
A spokeswoman for the South West Sydney Local Health District said all staff who tested positive were vaccinated and the hospital had strict infection control measures in place.
“We thank everyone at Liverpool Hospital for their continued dedication to providing exceptional care to all patients during these most difficult times,” said the spokesperson.
Australian head nurse and midwife Alison McMillan said earlier this month that the AHPRA sub-register would increase staffing to allow people to work where they were needed most.
“So where we could have had nurses doing tests and vaccinations in significant numbers, we are looking at using undergraduate medical and nursing and paramedical students to support our vaccination program so that we can potentially reintegrate nurses into the primary and hospital health system. “Professor McMillan told the ABC.
AHPRA chief executive Martin Fletcher said he was working with governments to help support Australia’s healthcare system response to the pandemic.
“Public safety remains an important goal of AHPRA and national councils,” he said.
“Our aim has been to ensure that the practitioners available as potential surrogate health workers are properly qualified, competent and suitable for inclusion in the sub-registers. “