Managing workforce challenges during bushfire response

Hospitals and other health providers in East Gippsland and Northeast Victoria are experiencing staffing challenges due to the bushfires.

This is expected to continue as the situation evolves. To support these health providers, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has engaged Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) to act as the health workforce coordination agency to recruit, engage and supply clinical staff to provide relief for existing staff and fill vacancies.

Support for Health Services:

If you are experiencing staff shortfalls or fatigue as a result of the bushfire situation, please contact RWAV. As the workforce coordination agency, RWAV will identify available medical practitioners, nurses and allied health and any other staff that best fit with your needs.  RWAV will help coordinate placement negotiations, paperwork, credentialing provider numbers and induction guidelines for each placement.

If you have any questions or would like a detailed FAQ sheet, contact RWAV by email or phone 03 9349 7800

Health Professionals

If you are an experienced health professional, medical practitioner, nurse or allied health clinician who is interested in supporting communities in bushfire affected areas, please call (03) 9349 7800  or email  to register your interest with RWAV.

RWAV can also answer your questions you may have or provide you with a detailed FAQ sheet.

You must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or relevant professional association and be able to work in Victoria. 

Positions are available for general practitioners both in rural hospitals and in general practices, registered nurses in acute care and in residential aged care and a range of allied health positions.

We suggest that your intentions to ‘volunteer’ are discussed with your current employer, however the Department of Health and Human Services has expectations that services will do everything possible to support and reassure our staff dealing with emergencies, as well as reduce red tape (e.g. “Evidence requirements”) for being absent to defend property or support community.

Please note that this work is not direct disaster response and recovery work so specialist skills in this area are not required. It is intended to fill positions in hospitals, residential aged care facilities, community health services and general practices where there are staffing shortfalls because of the bushfire.

Work may be on a casual basis to provide rest for existing staff or through short-term contracts where there are ongoing shortfalls.

There may be some placements that will be difficult to access and require overnight stays, and communication may be intermittent where power outages have occurred. These details will be communicated to you in the placement discussions.