Aus visa conditions for NZ nurses could be disastrous
October 15, 2015
EntreHub is able to exclusively reveal that New Zealand medical professionals who are working in Australia on contracts may not be covered for professional indemnity insurance as a result of changed visa conditions impacting New Zealand citizens working and living across the Tasman. Concerns were raised directly with EntreHub by four nurses after reading our story on a deepening rift in trans-Tasman relations and the case of the ANZ bank who refunded more than $20,000 in insurance premiums after it was discovered that the policy holders would not have been paid out because there were considered to be temporary visa holders having arrived in Australia after 2001 whereas the policy only recognised permanent residents.
Danella Williams, Manager of Drake Medox (one of Australia’s largest private nurse workforce providers) told EntreHub that “there have been concerns for a few years now when the requirements of nurses needing to hold indemnity insurance changed to the majority requiring individual policies.” And “There are not necessarily audited checks on whether a nurse has the correct insurance.” Ms Williams also indicted that if this was a challenge with the temporary nursing workforce it could also be the same for other fields requiring the same sort of insurance. Drake insures their own workforce.
Meanwhile, Nicole Newton, National Communications Advisor for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority said “The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia sets the professional standards that all registered nurses and midwives in Australia must meet. All registered nurses and midwives are responsible for ensuring they have adequate insurance and must make declarations to this effect every year when they apply to renew their registration.” But, did not answer the question as to whether or not adequate checks were in place that monitored policies nor was the question answered as to whether or not some New Zealand nurses may unwittingly be practising in Australia without insurance coverage because they may be oblivious to the issue of residency status.
One Insurance company insider, who wanted to remain anonymous, told EntreHub that “the issue remained whether or not people fully understood what they were signing up to; there is a push to sell the product and it’s not always the case that people do read the fine print.”
Of the six insurers contacted by EntreHub only one responded indicating they did not believe it was an issue with their client base and were confident that their policy statements and product disclosure statements were in order.
New Zealand Greens Party Co-Leader James Shaw told Entreub that "New Zealanders living in Australia deserve the same rights and respect that Australians living here do. It’s up to the New Zealand Government to stand up to its Australian counterparts and demand they do."
In the event that policyholders are in fact working off an insurance product where the residency status excludes temporary visa holders nurses could face penalties and or de-registration if they are found to be in breach of the rules.
The issue of New Zealanders living and working in Australia will be top of mind of New Zealand’s political leadership as they meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this weekend. Both the New Zealand Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have told EntreHub they intend to ensure there can be no doubt about their feelings in relation to the treatment of New Zealanders including those in immigration detention.
The message? check the fine print of your insurance policies.
Don’t forget our elders can suffer in silence too: suicide prevention
Many people think that mental health and suicide are not topics that impact our elders but they could not be more wrong. The data tells us there continues to be an emerging trend when it comes to peop...
Wherever you look these days, not matter the developed country, whole population groups and peoples struggle with the daily grind of life. From children in state care to mental health, from affordable housing to the primary health system and from education to employmen...
For the last few years I have been fortunate to have been involved in the aged care sector and have seen both the lows and highs. Today we live in a world where most of us are living longer thank to more awareness around healthy living, the advancement of better medica...
You can’t go past a news paper, radio show or television news story these days without being flooded by all things Bitcoin or Crypto Currency. Some say it’s the new world of money while others suggest its all just a passing fad. Whatever your position or preference of...