Message from the NAHRLS General Manager - May 2012

The Nursing and Allied Health Rural Locum Scheme (NAHRLS) has placed or is about to place over 400 locums since its official launch in July 2011. This is a great result and, more importantly, this means that Health Professionals in rural and remote Australia have been able to get away for training and leave.

With the NSW Ministry of Health’s approval to use the programme local Health Districts have taken the opportunity to submit their locum support requests and  NAHRLS expects placements in NSW to increase exponentially leading up to the new financial year.
Since the official announcement of the new leave policy from the Department of Health and Ageing the NAHRLS has seen greater uptake of the programme and greater awareness of the types of support the NAHRLS programme provides to Health Services in rural and remote Australia. Expanding the programme to include locum support for all forms of leave for up to 14 days, we are closer in our aim to address some of the challenges and barriers that rural and remote Health Professional’s face when taking leave. The new leave policy provides greater relief to health organisations that require locum support and ensures that there is no loss of continuity in service delivery to the community.
The NAHRLS offers a brokerage type service between hosts and locums with no fees or charges and travel and incentives for locum health professionals are covered by the programme. The only cost to the hosting health service is the base rate of pay (including superannuation) and all administration and recruitment fees for locum support are subsidised by the NAHRLS programme.
Now that we are into the last quarter of the 2011-12 financial year it is important to get your locum requests in now to secure locum support for the new financial year. So if you are aware of any upcoming leave requests, get your applications in soon so we can guarantee locum support.
‘Conference Season’ is in full swing and the NAHRLS team are preparing for upcoming conferences in the lead up to the new financial year. Our next conference is the General Practice Clinical Education Conference in Sydney NSW on Friday 18th May to Sunday 20th May, where representatives of the NAHRLS team will have an Exhibition Stand presenting the NAHRLS programme.
The NAHRLS team will also be attending the Southern Regional Congress, Australia’s largest Optometry Conference in Melbourne VIC on Saturday 19th May to Monday 21st May where the NAHRLS team will be showcasing the programme to over 850 Optometrists.
NAHRLS is also the Bronze Sponsor of the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) National Conference that will be held on Wednesday 23rd May to Saturday 26th May. If you happen to see us while we are on the road please come over and say hello.
International Nurses Day will be held on Saturday 12 May 2012 to celebrate nurses and their contribution to the health of society. In commemoration of this day the NAHRLS team are hosting an Office Breakfast to join in the celebration with other health services around Australia. Collectively, breakfasts are held across Australia and are linked in to participate and commemorate nurses and their hard work and to promote this year’s International Nurses Day theme: Closing the gap – from evidence to action.
First quarter of 2012 was a great beginning and really kick starts the NAHRLS programme into the rest of the year. With more months like this, the NAHRLS will quickly fill its quota for the financial year and I am confident that the rest of 2012 will be great for NAHRLS and rural and remote health professionals.