When you think of fly-in fly-out or FIFO workers you tend to think of miners in remote locations, but there’s a group of FIFIOs working on the North-West Coast being paid thousands of dollars a day to fly in and out – specialist doctors.
The Australian Medical Association has revealed fly-in doctors, or locums, including psychologists, cost the Tasmanian Government more than $60 million last financial year.
The AMA says there’s around 60 vacancies for medical specialists in Tasmania, with the worst shortage being on the North-West Coast,, where is estimates more than half the doctors working at the Mersey Regional Hospital at Latrobe and the North-West Regional Hospital in Burnie are locums.
It says the going rate for locums is around $2000 a day, with those working on the North-West Coast finding it more lucrative to work in the region for one week a month, rather than live here full time and work at the hospitals.
The Tasmanian Department of Health and the State Government say they are working towards to decreasing the reliance on locums within the health system.