Nursing job vacancies in Boort as city launches healthcare recruitment drive

Options are limited for those making a doctor’s appointment in Boort, 260 kilometers northwest of Melbourne.

Some plan to travel an hour and fifteen minutes to the nearest regional centre, Bendigo.

But they often cannot enter medical centers because they are already full a week in advance and are not accepting new patients.

Boort District Health chief executive Donna Doyle said some patients decide to go to the area’s urgent care center.

“Patients come to our urgent care center with elective presentations because there are no appointments available or they have to travel to get an appropriate appointment,” a- she declared.

A recruiting campaign has been launched to encourage nurses to work and stay in the city.

“It’s time to start thinking outside the square about how we recruit and retain our medical staff in the region,” Ms Doyle said.

Boort’s struggle to retain medical professionals is not new.

He was without a local doctor for almost a year.

“Workforce is an ongoing issue; recruitment and retention is an ongoing issue,” Ms. Doyle said.

“We rode the wave of COVID and the staff stayed.”

But she said those employees were now tired.

“They take vacations or cut their hours or watch what they want to do,” she said.

“So we have huge leeway to expand our clinical workforce.”

It comes as state government projections reveal that 65,000 new health and community service workers will be needed in Victoria by 2025.

Hospitals turn to foreign workers

The health department has posted six full-time nursing positions.

It hopes to attract more graduate nurses, student nurses and foreign workers to bolster its workforce.

‘We are working with immigration to recruit a family from the UK at this time,’ Ms Doyle said.

“They will come here hopefully with their children who will go to school here, who could be involved in sport here.”

Mohammed Mubarak moved to Boort with his family six years ago. (Provided)

Mohammed Mubarak Meera Sahib moved to Boort in 2016 with the intention of spending six months there before moving to Melbourne.

“It’s not just work, [it’s] to be in a small community that involves you,” Mr. Meera Sahib said.

“You are part of this community, rather than just living and working in this place.”

A male nurse seated at a desk behind a computer.
Mohammed Mubarak says his family enjoys being involved in community sports.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

Mr. Meera Sahib said his family fell in love with the community.

He assumed the role of Director of Clinical Services at Boort District Health.

“You don’t know until you try,” he said.

“There is a hospital, a retirement home [facility] and an emergency, so you’ll get all the skills you need.

“The community knows you, you support each other…we offer flexible working arrangements.”

Boort District Health Service is part of the Integrated Health Network, which includes several surrounding rural health services.

They all face the same recruiting challenges.

“We are planning to put together a recruitment video and we are really excited about the opportunity,” Ms Doyle said.

“You can have a work-life balance if you come to a place like Boort, there are opportunities to do something other than work in Boort.”

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