HCA at 45

Great history celebrated by healthcare recruiter.

HCA at 45

Australia & New Zealand

Healthcare Australia (HCA), market leading healthcare recruiter in Australia is celebrating 45 years of service to the healthcare industry. The occasion has been marked by a first-time meeting between CEO, Jason Cartwright, and the original owner of HCA’s foundation Nursing Agency - Malvern Nursing Agency - Elizabeth Schofield. 

Schofield’s Malvern Nursing Agency (MNA) is the foundation business of Healthcare Australia. It was established in April, 1972 and based out of a large Federation style home in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern. Elizabeth developed a team of Nurses that personified all areas of quality, integrity and performance. With growth year after year, Malvern Nursing Agency was quickly regarded as Melbourne’s number one Nursing Agency. “Pretty much every Melbourne Nurse who trained in this era joined MNA at some point,” comments Julie Stobart - VIC Client Services Manager, HCA’s longest serving employee of over 25 years. 

Between 1980 and 1999, HCA saw the integration of Nursing Agency South Australia (NASA) and MNA, as well as many strategic acquisitions across the country, including ASEPS (Theatre and Critical Care Nurses) and Acclaim. Elizabeth sold Malvern Nursing Agency to HCA, in 2005, after 33 years as owner, and to celebrate the company’s recent milestone, she met up with Jason to reflect on the changes of Agency Nursing over the years. 

“It was an honour to spend the day with Elizabeth Schofield,” says Jason. “As we talked about current trends in the healthcare recruitment industry, I couldn’t help but notice the huge contrast between 2017 and 1972. From a specialty Nursing Agency based out of a suburban home in Malvern, to a Healthcare Solutions provider with 14 national offices, 290 corporate employees and a total active workforce of 10,600, we’ve grown instrumentally to become Australia’s #1 Agency in our industry.


“Over 45 years we’ve grown organically and through acquisition, acquiring over 22 businesses to make us who we are today. We are proud of where we are today, as the leading provider in Australia’s fastest growing industry,” Jason adds. 

Technology has played a big part in the evolution of Australia’s Agency Nursing industry. In 1972, there were no mobile phones, no computers and no emails. All shifts were entered into large double sided ledgers and were cross checked with all Nurses’ availabilities. Nurses were then called on their landline to see if they could work the shift at the hospital. Payments were made directly between the hospital and the Nurse (usually in cash), with the Nurse paying a small percentage of their earnings to the Agency. 

In recent years, Nurses have been introduced to our state-of-the-art eHCA App to receive real-time notifications when shifts are available. Each Nurse can manage their own Agency career, selecting which hospitals they wish to work at, what days and times they are available and what type of shifts they work. They can have their timesheets authorised and submitted directly through the App, with options to receive payment within 48 hours of working the shift. 

In more recent years, HCA has delivered new and innovative service offerings in response to the changing demands of clients and the broader healthcare industry. This has given rise to diversified service offerings, with the business now delivering on government contracts, developing our training and education courses, becoming a registered provider of disability support services and running Corporate Health and Wellness programs with leading organisations. 

HCA has a bright future ahead, in which Jason says: “We are looking forward to another year of growth ahead. This will be achieved through our core strategies of expanding the business into new markets, strategic acquisitions that integrate well with our business model and expanding our existing businesses capacities. Our aim is to continuously improve our service offering and support to both our clients and candidates.”



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