Year in review: 4 aged-care sector highlights in 2022

Throughout 2022, the New Zealand healthcare including the aged-care sector continued to rise to new challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic. Lack of overseas nurses, uncertainty over changing immigration policies, increased attrition of qualified staff to DHBs, inflation, were just some of the issues plagued by the sector.

In our yearly outlook, we review the key developments within the aged-care sector in NZ and explore four key highlights of the year that will shape outcomes in 2023.

Pay parity for aged-care nurses

One of the most pressing issues discussed at this year’s aged-care and retirement conference was pay parity, an issue that the aged-care sector has fought long and hard to achieve.

Last month in a major win for the sector, NZ government agreed to boost aged-care nurses’ pay by $200 million a year in a bid to close the wage gap with hospital-employed nurses.

It is estimated that 20,000 community health and aged-care facility workers will be paid at rates comparable to nurses employed by Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand.

Only last year, the turnover of registered nurses from the aged care sector to district health boards was up to 70 percent, according to NZACA research. It would be interesting to see how this discussion on pay parity continues, and how long it actually takes to take effect on the ground.

Immediate residency for nurses

Nurses have been moved to the immigration green list, which means that they are eligible for immediate residency in New Zealand from 15 December 2022.

This comes on the tail of the government’s sector agreements which provided a residency pathway to care workers that are paid $28.25 an hour.

This immigration policy change will certainly have a major impact on recruitment within the sector. New Zealand has always been an attractive market for nurses due to its ability to offer work-life balance. Now, with the addition of residency, it puts us in leagues of countries like Canada and the UK, positioning us as an attractive market for overseas workers.

Support for Internationally Qualified Nurses

In August this year, government worked towards easing the financial burden on international qualified nurses (IQNs) by announcing $10,000 in financial support to help them complete their training and registration assessments in New Zealand.

While the exact impact of the financial support is yet to be determined, this move has helped ease the pathway for facilities to recruit IQNs.

All through 2022, DeoCare advocated for an employer sponsored approach to recruiting IQNs. We believe it is the best solution to address immediate staff shortage and provide quality care to patients.

DeoCare has CAP ready, NZ trained caregivers and nurses who are ready for placement in New Zealand right now. Get to know some of them.

Support worker pathway via education institute partnerships

Recruitment at DeoCare has always been a solutions-focused approach.

This year, we announced a partnership with Kalandra Education Group, a training provider specialising in healthcare for older people.

This partnership enables us to provide healthcare facilities with pathway to competent international staff trained by a well-known kiwi education provider.

At DeoCare, we place great value in providing a solutions-focused approach to recruitment.

Our experience makes us passionate about connecting caring employers to caring people which means we go the extra mile to find good quality, reliable staff.

Visit our FAQs page to find out more about the recruitment process, how we screen candidates and our scope of internationally qualified nurses.

If you would like to recruit and attract staff to grow your organisation, get in touch with us and we’ll help you find the right person from our pool of career-focused healthcare professionals.

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