Australia has one of the top ranked healthcare systems worldwide. The Australian healthcare system provides Medicare to all Australian Citizens in the following forms: hospital care, Medicare, and pharmaceutical benefits. These are compensated by automatic taxation to the citizens. In addition to this, about half of the population also does have access to private healthcare. It is safe to assume that the healthcare system in Australia is highly prioritized by the government.
Even President Trump agreed that the healthcare system in Australia is more advanced than that of the US – a completely different incident from what transpired last February. Trump, in the news, lost his temper in a phone call with Australia’s Prime Minister Turnbull regarding the refugee agreement that was made during the Obama administration. It seems that strengthening the healthcare system became their common ground.
Though highly patronized, healthcare in Australia is threatened by the shortage of healthcare workforce. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the residential care, social assistance, child care and disability services sectors are faced with a challenge to hire and retain healthcare workers due to low pay rates. However, the standard in Australia may also be a lot higher compared to other countries, and the job offers may just not be that attractive to citizens. As a result, most of the healthcare positions are now being posted in the Immigration Skilled Occupations List.
The most in-demand job in the industry is Nursing, predicted to be opening 100,000 vacancies by 2025. The solution to this threat now lies on the recruiting nurses from other countries. The employers will just have to sponsor the visas of the staff. After 2 years with working visa, healthcare staff may then apply for permanent residency. This is also the reason why entering the healthcare industry in Australia is a good pathway to Australian Residency.
Aside from the sponsored visa, another requirement to consider in the application is the registration under the State Nursing Board. In compliance with the registration, there are different sub-requirements that a foreign nurse must accomplish. The first requirement is the International English Language Test System Certification. To attain this certification, one must not only obtain an overall band score of 7.0, but also a grade of 7.0 for each of the categories under the IELTS exam. This is where most foreign nurses struggle. It’s challenging enough for nurses to speak English due to the fact that this is not their native language.
On top of that, IELTS is a structured exam that is quite particular in their grading system. One of the most challenging parts in accomplishing this requirement is passing the writing category, as suggested by previous IELTS examiners. Even native speakers have a difficult time reaching this score in writing. The next requirement is the Occupational English Test which requires for the applicant to obtain a grade of A or B in all categories. English Proficiency is vital the application and requires both financial and time investment for preparation.
Finally, an applicant must undertake the CBAP – Competency Based Assessment Program. This is particularly applicable to nurses with education not accredited by the Australian Nursing Board. This means that nurses from countries like UK, Ireland, New Zealand, USA, and Canada may no longer need to undertake this examination. The same is true for the IELTS exam. There are recruitment agencies that may help applicants throughout the entire process.
These Australian Agencies, such as Ramsay jobs and Nurses Career Australia are particularly helpful in ensuring that the foreign nurses are aware of each requirement to enter the country with Employer-sponsored working visas, eventually guiding them in their application for permanent residency.