New Requirements for Overseas Trained Doctors to Work in Australia

Overseas trained doctors seeking visas to work as General Practitioners (GPs) will be required to obtain a Health Workforce Certificate from a Rural Workforce Agency from 11 March 2019.

Page last updated: 12 March 2019

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11 March 2019

Overseas trained doctors seeking visas to work as General Practitioners (GPs) will be required to obtain a Health Workforce Certificate from a Rural Workforce Agency from 11 March 2019.

Under this new requirement, overseas trained doctors will be directed away from well-serviced metropolitan areas to areas of workforce need, especially regional, rural and remote communities.

This initiative will reduce the numbers of overseas trained doctors entering the primary health care system by around 200 each year for the next four years under the skilled migration program.

The number of GPs in Australia has increased three times more than population growth over the past decade, due to a surge in locally trained medical graduates and a continued high intake of overseas trained doctors.

Minister for Regional Services, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said the Visas for GPs initiative would allow the Government to better manage the growth and distribution of the national medical workforce.

“The Visas for GPs initiative won’t reduce the number of GPs currently providing services but will reduce the rise in doctors in city areas and improve numbers in rural areas where they are needed.” Minister McKenzie said.

“The new requirements will ensure the right balance of specialist GPs is available to the Australian community, while also providing opportunities for Australian trained doctors.

“The Liberal Nationals government is absolutely committed to improving access to high-quality health services for those Australians living in regional areas.”

The Visas for GPs initiative was announced in the 2018-19 Budget as part of the Government’s $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy—an historic 10-year plan to meet current and future health workforce challenges across regional, rural and remote Australia.

The Department of Health is working closely with the Department of Home Affairs to implement the visa requirement.

Further information about the Health Workforce Certificate application process is available on DoctorConnect website.

ENDS

Media Contacts:
Jonathan Hawkes - 0434 660 801
John Chanter - 0419 284 686


Authorised by B McKenzie, The National Party, Bendigo VIC

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