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All staff who work in Victoria’s public hospitals and ambulance services – including nurses, midwives, doctors, and paramedics – will get an extra $3000 payment as part of a $353 million retention package to support healthcare workers throughout winter.

The first retention and surge $1,500 payment will go through on the 15th of August and the second will be paid at the end of September.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“This is all about encouraging people to take up shifts if they can to go from being part time to maybe working some further hours,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said during a press conference just then.

“It’s also about bringing people back into the system who might have been out of the system for a period of time.

“It’s also a fundamental acknowledgment of the extreme pressure … the really significant challenge that there is in our health system at the moment and trying to not only express our gratitude but to incentivise and see more and more staff stay on our public hospital system,” he said.

Andrews said the Victorian government had been in discussions with NSW, who introduced a similar payment for healthcare workers earlier this week.

The announcement also includes free meals for staff who work overnight shifts.

“This is not a cost. It’s an investment in making sure that we can get through this most challenging time, winter, but winter during a pandemic, is obviously, very, very difficult,” Andrews said.

“Our health staff are the best of us. We’re deeply grateful to them. But we also know that there are practical things that we can do to see more of them doing more, taking up extra shifts, perhaps, or indeed encouraging some people who perhaps have been out of the system for a period of time to come back.”

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