Before starting work

See what international medical graduates need to do to be prepared to work as a doctor in Australia. Learn about Australia’s health care system and how to register for government services.

Understand the health system

Australia’s health system provides quality, safe and affordable health care.

Medicare is our public health insurance scheme. It’s the foundation of our health system.

As an international medical graduate, you are subject to some Medicare billing restrictions.

The restrictions mean you will have to work in a Distribution Priority Area if you're a GP, or a District of Workforce Shortage if you're another specialist, in order to bill patients.

Get a Medicare Provider Number

If you provide a service covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule, your patients pay some or none of the cost to you. The Government covers the rest of the fee.

You need to apply for a Medicare Provider Number to provide this service to patients.

In some cases, if you don’t have a provider number, you must tell your patients before the consultation that they can’t get a Medicare rebate.

Register for a PRODA account

PRODA is an online system that Medicare providers can access.

You will need to register for a PRODA account to access some important government services.

Sign up to insurance

All registered doctors in Australia need professional indemnity insurance, except doctors with non-practising registration.

Professional indemnity insurance protects you and your patients in case something happens while the patient is in your care. There are a number of providers of this type of insurance.

Talk to your employer about what’s right for you.

Consider your own health insurance

As a temporary resident doctor you and your family may not be eligible to access Medicare for your own health needs.

Some countries have reciprocal agreements with Australia. You can check whether this applies to you. If you are not eligible for Medicare, you could still choose to pay for private health.

Get a tax file number

A tax file number is your personal number for the Australian tax and superannuation systems. It is individual to you, so you need to remember it and keep it safe.

Check your eligibility and apply for a tax file number online.

If you don’t have a tax file number, you will pay more tax. Government benefits, some online services and applying to have your own business also require you to have a tax file number.

Get recognised as a non-GP specialist

Patients with private health insurance can claim rebates for some non-GP specialist services. If you are a non-GP specialist, you will need recognition from the relevant specialist medical college to provide these services.

You can check your eligibility and apply for non-GP specialist recognition.

Date last updated:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.