Aged-Care Report Finds Sector ‘Totally Unsustainable’ With Nationwide Staff Vacancies Exceeding 60,000

Acute understaffing

Article heading image for Aged-Care Report Finds Sector ‘Totally Unsustainable’ With Nationwide Staff Vacancies Exceeding 60,000

A damning aged-care study has found the sector ‘totally unsustainable’ with more than 60,000 staff vacancies nationwide.

The findings from a report conducted by Catholic Health Australia (CHA) and compiled by the University of Notre Dame found that a total of 82,156 vacancies existed across the nation’s hospitals and aged care facilities.

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“Our hospitals and aged care providers just cannot go on with this acute understaffing. The situation right now is totally unsustainable,” CHA chief executive Pat Garcia said.

“If these numbers don’t shock the new federal health minister, I don’t know what will.”

The “startling figures” reflect the over-extended sector, which has also been thinned out by pandemic immigration restrictions.


To tackle the compounding issue, CHA has recommended removing visa costs and associated red tape, with supported pathways to encourage workers to come to Australia.

“We need to expedite the process for healthcare workers to get into Australia and get them to work,” Garcia said. “In a competitive global market, we also need to think about incentives ... anything to make their lives easier and lessen the burden of moving here.”

The report also outlines additional measures to address the shortfall, including prioritising relevant workers on childcare waiting lists, higher subsidies, and direct funding for in-house childcare centres.

“We also need the government to ensure and make affordable flexible, out of hours childcare options for healthcare workers. We have put a range of suggested childcare reforms on the table for the government, but what is clear is that reform is now urgent.

- Pat Garcia


Join Tom Tilley with regular rotating co-hosts Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi on The Briefing, Monday - Saturday, for the day's headlines and breaking news as well as hot topics and interviews. Available on Listnr.

Triple M Newsroom

20 May 2022

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