Medicare billing restrictions for international medical graduates

Learn what you can and can’t do when billing patients under Medicare as an international medical graduate working as a doctor in Australia. Read about the rules set out in sections 19AA and 19AB of Australia’s Health Insurance Act 1973.

Overview of Medicare billing restrictions

Medicare is Australia’s universal health insurance scheme.

Doctors need a Medicare Provider Number to bill under Medicare.

Patients who go to the doctor pay some or none of the cost of their visit. The Government covers the rest. 

The Medicare Benefits Schedule lists all the services covered by Medicare. The Medicare Benefits Schedule also has details on how much the Government pays either you or the patient for the service.

What restrictions apply to me?

We are improving the distribution and quality of health care in Australia. To help with this, rules are in place on who can get a Medicare Provider Number.

Restrictions will apply to you if you:

  • got your degree outside of Australia or New Zealand
  • enrolled in a degree in Australia or New Zealand as a temporary resident

The restrictions are set out in Australia's Health Insurance Act 1973.

Section 19AA of the Act details restrictions on non-vocationally recognised doctors.

Section 19AB of the Act has special conditions for international medical graduates that meet the requirements of 19AA.

Help with restrictions

If you are not sure if restrictions apply to you, check with the Rural Workforce Agency located in the area where you would like to work.

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