Aged Care Commissioner welcomes new immigration rules

The Aged Care Commissioner is welcoming the Government’s decision to fast-track nurses, midwives, and specialist doctors not already eligible, onto the immigration ‘Green List’ by 15 December 2022.

These and other professions will get immediate residency in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Carolyn Cooper says the news could not have come sooner for the aged care sector, which is bearing the brunt of an overstretched health system.

“This will make a difference to the quality and safety of care of older people in aged residential care, those using home and community support services, and those interacting with nurses, doctors, and health professionals, in a health system experiencing severe workforce shortages.

“Nurses working in aged care and other important primary and community health settings have only just received pay parity alongside nurses in hospitals”.

Ms Cooper especially welcomes the Specific Purpose work visa to help keep around 2,500 critical workers in the country, many of whom were healthcare workers who supported older people needing aged care since the onset of COVID-19.

“These essential workers helped get New Zealand through the worst of the pandemic. Now they, and many other nurses and healthcare workers already in the country, can continue contributing to our healthcare system and society, in jobs that so many older people and their families and whānau rely on”.