The demand for Emergency Physicians in the locum world in Australia is generally huge when viewed across a calendar year.
From regular weekend shifts at private hospitals in Sydney and Brisbane suburbs, to running long-term rosters exclusively for regional health services in coastal Western Australia (one where the Director insists that you surf with him!), there is no shortage of options on hand for locum doctors.
But tracking this demand daily and expressing it in hard data can be tricky. For example, yearly NSW Health reports on their medical recruitment agency spend, but this report is normally high-level and although it may extend to some numbers for each Local Health District, it is not apparent in which specialty or discipline is most at need for locums.
Using locum emergency medicine jobs in NSW Health as an example (from Junior to Senior), as it is the only place we at Blugibbon have managed to gain accurate data for, there were a total of 204 notifications for jobs in January, 355 for February, 273 for March, 400 for April and 254 for May.
These numbers are not surprising when coupled with our discussions with hospitals and Doctors alike with respect to COVID-19. Immediately (at least anecdotally we heard) many emergency physicians were asked to cancel leave or part-time contracts to take on full-time hours, with hospitals bracing themselves for a huge influx of patients. Hence the high April figures.
Western Australia and the Northern Territory reacted quickly and retained locum Doctors already with them as their governments closed borders. Queensland did similar, but we noticed Blugibbon saw most activity and business in New South Wales. The state and local health districts sat on the fence somewhat.
Traditionally our emergency physicians are largely based in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney with most headed to New South Wales to work and take advantage of comparatively higher pay rates, as well as some to South Australia and regional Victoria.
When we discussed this further with our contacts in May it became apparent that COVID-19 was not as hard-hitting as expected.
The unintended consequence of all of this is that with travel restrictions largely remaining right now, emergency physicians are continuing to stay put in local jobs largely, or if they were locumming already away from home they have stayed in that role ongoing where possible.
In some states right now and where there is a low level of permanent staff such as the more rural and remote hospitals, they are only drawing from a pool of locum doctors in that state, so the microclimate has become even more competitive.
This is where Blugibbon has decided to rise to the challenge.
If the traditional settings and choice are not available, we are privileged to work with private medical services and organisations that subcontract their opportunities to us, providing a different dynamic of the locum world. With the expected bank-up of annual leave on emergency physicians that have stayed local, we suspect the second half of this year is going to see a sharp spike upwards in locum jobs as these doctors will desperately need a break.
The other good news is Blugibbon’s Founder started the company solely recruiting locum doctors for emergency departments, based on his now 15 years experience in the space, and we now have four Consultants on that team, so we can safely say you are in the right hands.
We have locum jobs in Sydney, locum jobs in Brisbane, locum jobs in Melbourne and locum jobs across all other states in Australia.
To find out more about how the locum market is looking now and for the rest of 2020, and to lock-in your next emergency medicine opportunity, get in touch with Blugibbon today 02 8960 6445