Australia’s Migration System Undergoes Health Check

A consideration of how best to address workforce shortages in the health care sector will be a focus of the next public hearing of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration.

Committee Chair, Maria Vamvakinou MP, said ‘We will be speaking to a range of organisations involved in the provision of health care. Most have made submissions to the inquiry, and we will be exploring with them issues encompassing the attraction and retention of doctors, nurses and other skilled migrants in the sector; the inflexibility, cost and complexity of the existing visa system; and the particular challenges facing those providing health care in rural and remote communities.’

The committee will also consider opportunities to make better use of migrant skills, including those who arrive as humanitarian entrants. ‘We need to address the underutilisation of the skills of migrants who come to build their lives in our society, and particularly the ways in which they can be better supported to maximise their contribution to our nation’ Ms Vamvakinou remarked.

At the hearing, the committee will take the opportunity to further explore broader challenges in the migration system with the Migration Institute of Australia and the work of their members in providing advice to migrants. This will be followed by a discussion with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) and their regulatory role in both protecting migrants who require immigration advice and in ensuring the integrity of the migration advice industry.