Free university degrees for budding nurses in Victoria could exacerbate nationwide aged care and private hospital workforce shortages and pit states against each other, peak bodies warn.
The Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) and Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APHCNA) have poked holes in Victoria’s offer to pay off the entire HECS debt of more than 10,000 nursing and midwifery graduates.
All new domestic students enrolling in undergraduate nursing and midwifery courses in 2023 and 2024 will receive up to $16,500 to cover the costs under a $270 million package unveiled yesterday.
Students will receive $9000 over their three years of study, but the rest will only be paid off if they work in Victorian public health services for two years.
While being spruiked by the state government as a salve for the…