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Where can I work?

International medical graduates are usually restricted to certain locations while working as a doctor in Australia. Check where an international medical graduate can work while providing services under Medicare.

Check eligibility

Make sure you are eligible before you start to look for work in Australia.

Restrictions for international medical graduates

Medicare billing restrictions apply to you as an international medical graduate.

This means you will work in certain locations—and, in some cases, certain hours of work—to provide services under Medicare.

The restrictions make it easier for you to get a job in an area that needs more doctors.

Different Medicare billing restrictions apply if you become a permanent resident of Australia.

You will need to be on a pathway to medical registration to work as a doctor in any medical setting.

Priority areas

As your first job in Australia, you will need to work under supervision in an area that needs doctors. This applies to public and private sector positions.

These areas are called Distribution Priority Areas for GPs, or Districts of Workforce Shortage for other specialists.

Check the classification of an area and see if a job is in the right place on the Health Workforce Locator.

Working in a private setting

A private practice charges fees to patients for services. You will need a Medicare Provider Number to work in a private practice if you wish to access Medicare. This also applies to public hospital doctors who have a right to private practice.

In a private practice you can work as a GP or other specialist, or as a non-specialist.

Working in the public system

Doctors who are residents of Australia may be able to work in a public hospital without a Medicare provider number.

If you work in the public system, you can be on a salary.

Depending on your experience, you could work as a:

  • post-graduate trainee or intern
  • Residential Medical Officer or Hospital Medical Officer
  • registrar

The hospital you work with may help pay the costs of your move and temporary accommodation.

Telehealth and aged care workers

If you provide services in telehealth or residential aged care, you will need a Medicare Provider Number. You will need to apply for one from within a Distribution Priority Area or District of Workforce Shortage, regardless of where your patient is located.

Restrictions on work hours

If you are a temporary resident working in a city, you will need to work outside normal hours. This is because there is a shortage of doctors for after-hours care.

You can work normal hours in Distribution Priority Areas.

Last updated: 
1 July 2019

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