All staff who work in public hospitals and ambulance services in Victoria – including nurses, midwives, doctors and paramedics – will receive an additional payment of $3,000 under a retention scheme $353 million to support healthcare workers through the winter.

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

Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“It’s about encouraging people to take shifts if they can to go from part-time to maybe working a few extra hours,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told a conference in press at that time.

“It’s also about bringing people back into the system who might have been away for a while.

“It’s also a fundamental recognition 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 incite and see more and more of staff to stay in our public hospital system,” he said.

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

The announcement also includes free meals for staff working night shifts.

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

“Our health staff are the best of us. We are deeply grateful to them. But we also know that there are practical things we can do to get more of them doing more, perhaps taking extra shifts, or even encouraging some people who may have been out of the system for a while coming back. ”