India could help alleviate Australia’s health crisis, experts say

A strong stock of health workers in one country could help alleviate the Australian crisis, experts say.

The answer to Australia’s health crisis may lie in an Indian medical sector full of untapped talent, experts say.

Perception of Indian healthcare rose negatively during the pandemic – it was plagued by more than 4,000 Covid deaths a day in March 2021 – but the country claims an “extraordinary” private system, experts say, which produces a strong supply of nurses. well trained and doctors.

The university’s efforts to tap into a market stocked with healthcare workers have increased in recent times, including Melbourne’s La Trobe which announced a partnership with Indian medical conglomerate MedAchievers in December 2021.

La Trobe University hoped to improve the skills of students and healthcare professionals through collaboration, with Indian nurses currently limited by Australian entry requirements.

To register in Australia, Indian nurses must undergo the Nursing Board assessment, including a three-month transition course prior to a four-month skills assessment.

Policy expert Dr Erin Watson-Lynn suggests that adopting greater recognition of skills for Indian health workers could help alleviate the medical crisis in Australia.

“The amount of time you have to spend in a clinical setting in Australia to become qualified – (there are) all these discrepancies in actually being able to do that,” said Dr Watson-Lynn, who holds a Ph. on Australia-India relations.

“Part of the problem is that India has the capacity to train excellent health workers. To fill this gap, we should have better recognition of skills for nurses and other healthcare professionals from India.

“Many people in Australia have a very negative perception of health care in India and other developing countries after Covid, yet they produce many qualified doctors and nurses.

“I went through those hospitals in India and they are amazing – there are parts of me that would rather be treated there.

“The public system works where you often have to know someone to get into the hospital.

“(But) there is the whole private system which is extraordinary, and the quality and standards are very high.”

India’s centralized system and large population mean healthcare workers are exposed to huge numbers of very sick patients, says Dr. Watson-Lynn, offering them strong training opportunities.

“They are well trained and are likely to be exposed to far more advanced diseases than medical students and junior doctors in Australia,” he added.

“If you increase the number of medical and nursing care places in Australian universities, it will take five years to get qualified nurses and up to 10 years to have family doctors or qualified specialists.

“There are trained and willing doctors and nurses from India and other countries ready to work if we can reduce some of the bureaucratic obstacles in the way.”

The health crisis has been well documented, with Claire Skinner of the Australian College of Emergency Medicine stating that there were “profound structural flaws in the Australian health system” and whistleblowers recently telling Victoria Herald Sun hospitals that they couldn’t even open all their beds due to lack of staff and funds.

On Thursday, the Victorian government announced that full-time staff in public hospitals and the ambulance service would receive a $ 3,000 bonus.

Originally published as How a country could help Australia’s health crisis

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