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Fly-in Fly-out Jobs – Are They The Right Choice For You?

Fly in fly out medical

Fly-in fly-out (FIFO) jobs are a form of employment common in the mining and medical industries within Australia. FIFO jobs enable organisations to employ workers in remote areas where skilled workers are at a premium.

Many remote areas absolutely depend on FIFO workers for medical services, with traditional residential models of employment for medical staff simply not viable.

But despite the obvious benefits of FIFO jobs, there has been growing concern about the effect of this type of employment on the physical and psychological health of workers and their families; including factors such as stress, alcohol, drugs and risk taking behaviour.

In a recent article published in the Australian Doctor, AMA WA president David Mountain was reported to have told a federal parliamentary hearing into FIFO practices that health workers servicing remote locations face the same isolation and cost-of-living pressures as other FIFO workers. He also commented on the consequences of a dwindling workforce:

“Given the fact it’s incredibly hard to attract people to regional and remote Western Australia already, losing any further (medical) workforce in those centres would be catastrophic”.

Dr Leone Katekar, also presented her case to the committee about the essential nature of the FIFO medical workforce in Australia:

“From our perspective we are providing an absolutely essential service and a service that would not be able to be provided without the fly-in-fly-out or drive-in-drive-out service”.

As the government enquiry into FIFO jobs in Australia continues, let’s look at some of the positive aspects of this type of employment:

  • Financial Incentive.  Remote jobs often bring with them significantly higher wages than standard forms of employment, especially within the mining industry. Special tax concessions and generous living allowances may also apply.
  • Travel. Significant skills shortages in industries such as mining, mean that companies are often happy to relocate workers to a location of their choice; allowing employees to travel while they work.
  • Extended leave. As is the nature of FIFO shift work, extended periods of free time are often allocated to workers between their shifts; allowing for travel and family commitments to be fit-in around work.
  • Job Flexibility. Shorter-term contracts and a fixed home-base mean that workers often have much more freedom down the road to further develop their career.

At Beat Medical, we take the pressures that are put on individuals and families as a result of undertaking remote work very seriously.

That’s why as part of our core service, we go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that all our clients are taken care of. This includes initiatives such as:

  • Ensuring that all your travel arrangements are taken care of and organised correctly.
  • Doing as much of the administration leg-work as we can, to take the load off workers.
  • Helping to manage things at home; including organising child and pet care.
  • Assisting with the organisation of family visits when possible.
  • Providing complimentary internet access to employees through wireless dongles (where available!)

So there you have it, a look into the world of medical FIFO jobs within Australia!

Whilst FIFO jobs certainly aren’t for everyone – for those that enjoy the travel, flexibility, and don’t mind long hours, FIFO jobs can be a great option with some very generous income rewards.

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