THE new St John of God Hospital in Midland is recruiting nurses from as far away as Ireland to fill positions for when it opens in 2015.
St John of God Health Care wants to bring in 150 Irish nurses to fill a predicted shortage of nurses in WA within 18 months.
Dr Lachlan Henderson, St John of God Perth Northern Hospitals Executive Director, said the recruitment drive was targeting people for more than 1000 positions.
Dr Henderson said the majority of positions were for nurses, with the number of hospital beds nearly double that of Swan District Hospital.
‘For this reason and due to current and predicted shortages of experienced specialist nurses in the local market, we have developed a pro-active recruitment campaign,’ Dr Henderson said.
‘This is to ensure we have the right nursing skill mix to provide the best possible care for our patients.’
The recruitment phase is in the first stage, which means the hospital is recruiting for all remaining positions on the open market, a process that will continue throughout 2015.
‘We welcome applications from the local community,’ Dr Henderson said.
St John of God Health Care ran an international recruitment campaign in Ireland and the UK targeting experienced nurses and midwives to fill anticipated skill gaps at several of their hospitals, including Midland.
‘Given the long lead time to recruit overseas, it was necessary to run the campaign early,’ Dr Henderson said.
Australian Nursing Federation State Secretary Mark Olson said the ANF fought very hard and did well to achieve a 14 per cent pay rise for public nurses and midwives, which was matched by St John.
‘So all the nurses and midwives who do decide to work at the new hospital will continue to be beneficiaries of this deal,’ he said.
‘If there are any problems during the transition to the new hospital, the ANF will deal with them as they occur.’
Last week in State Parliament, Health Minister Kim Hames sought to clarify the jobs and security of positions for staff at the Swan District Hospital in Midland.
Dr Hames said existing staff would be offered jobs or redundancies.
Opposition Health spokesman Roger Cook said he was concerned that a Standing Estimates Committee document listed that up to 30 per cent of staff would be made redundant.
Dr Hames said the Government was not privatising Midland Health Campus.
‘We are contracting it out to the private sector ” there is a difference.’
He said the Government was encouraging staff at Swan District Hospital to apply for jobs at the new hospital.
‘If they wish to stay working in the public health system, then they will be found jobs elsewhere in the system,’ Dr Hames said.
St John of God Health Care has increased its numbers of graduate nurses with a record intake of 133 in Western Australia this year.