The Benefits of Medical Locum Jobs

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Whether you’re a medical professional seeking a change of scenery, a healthcare employer in need of additional staff for extra busy shifts or looking to temporary fill a particular role whilst another staff member in absent, medical locum jobs could be the ideal solution.

Deriving from the old English word “locum tenens” which means “someone who substitutes temporarily for another member of the same profession”, locum jobs offer the ultimate in flexibility and higher pay rates amongst other benefits for both parties.

With Australia’s population the fastest growing in the developed world and our large baby boomer cohort entering their retirement years, demand for healthcare services across the country is only increasing, a trend set to intensify in coming decades.

This shortage of qualified medical staff is especially acute in rural and regional areas of Australia, where locum doctors are often flown in for a few days at a time to service critically understaffed communities. In particular, common benefits include:

The Benefits for Employers

Flexibility: Hire Extra Staff, Temporarily for Busy Shifts

Busier medical facilities, especially hospitals in major regional centres or metropolitan areas can often find themselves facing a shortage of medical staff to fill key shifts.

They can also face challenges from staff members taking leave or simply being home on sick leave, in which case hiring or nurses on a temporary basis provides a simple and flexible way to maintain service levels.

Fill Difficult Roles with Greater Ease

Given the previously mentioned shortage of qualified medical professionals, especially GP’s in the more remote rural parts of the Australian continent, state and local health bodies often find themselves in the unenviable situation of having entire towns and communities under their jurisdiction facing the prospect of having no medical service.

Thankfully, hiring medical locum staff, even for a few days at a time on a fly-in-fly-out basis is an effective way to fill these difficult roles and ensure those isolated communities benefit from access to qualified doctors.

The Benefits for Employees

Lucrative Pay & Benefits

Due to the temporary nature of locum work and the high demand for qualified medical professionals to fill these roles, medical locums can earn seriously lucrative salaries which typically range between $2,000-2,500 per day or $10,000-12,500 before tax for a standard 5-day working week.

With their salaries paid by state/local government health bodies and private facilities who hire them in the first place, locums can negotiate even higher rates depending on their qualifications and experience as well as the locations they’ve been asked to work in.

For particularly remote locations, employers will often bundle car and accommodation costs into the overall remuneration package.

Flexibility: Work Across the Country & Enjoy Additional Breaks

Lucrative pay aside, perhaps the biggest benefit for qualified medical professionals in working is the high degree of flexibility they’ll enjoy, with these positions taking them around the country to remote and interesting locations they probably wouldn’t otherwise see.

With most medical locums typically structured in 5, 10, 7 or 12 day working blocks, professionals fulfilling these roles will also enjoy significant time off work before moving on to a new assignment in another interesting location.

Build Your Professional Network & Broaden Your Skillset

Another often overlooked benefit of working medical locum jobs are the opportunities they offer you to build your professional network and broaden your skillset, both goals which can be achieved due to the travelling nature of this role.

Working in a new hospital or medical clinic will see you working directly alongside new faces in an environment requiring close cooperation, which also provides great opportunities to share skills and knowledge, thus making you a more well-rounded medical professional in the process.

Locum jobs can also help you transition from one medical specialty to another whilst updating your skills, boosting your income and broadening your network. Not a bad combination!