The government rules around where different types of GPs can work in Australia

There are a number of different rules around where different types of GPs can work in Australia and this is particularly applicable to medical professionals from other countries that want to come and live and work in Australia. There is a general shortage in the general practice at the moment and it can be difficult to find Australian doctors for private practices, especially in areas that aren’t found within mainstream cities. This means that there is an opening for those training in the medical field to move into the country in order to make up for the shortfall. If you are looking to hire a doctor or simply wondering how you can get into Australia within the medical industry, then the Limited Registration option is a good one to consider.

What is Limited Registration?

Limited Registration medical practitioners are confined to working under supervision in an area of need (more on that later). There are a number of requirements in order to qualify under this registration and you must have the necessary skill, experience and training to do so. If you are eligible for the “competent authority pathway” or already have an AMC Certificate, then you are not eligible and must apply for provisional registration. If you are applying for limited registration you must meet the following requirements as taken from the Medical Board of Australia website:

  • You need to prove you are eligible through either the standard pathway or that of a specialist pathway within an area of need.
  • You will need to have documents showing you have working three-years’ worth of experience in a general practice of primary care position, if you are applying to work in a general practice position.
  • The PESCI (Pre-employment structured clinical interview) must be completed if you want to work in a general practice through the standard pathway.

You will also need to:

  • Adhere to a given supervision plan
  • Adhere to a given professional development plan
  • Give permission and comply with your supervisors in order to for them to generate reports about your safety and ability (competence) to complete the work expected of you
  • Competently manage any job given to you (within your scope)
  • Show that you are on the right path towards meeting the requirements needed for general or specialist registration. Medical practitioners won’t have to do this if they are not applying for renewal of the registration more than three times


What is an area of need?

An area of need is a location or region where there is a shortage in the supply of specialty skills, in this case, for medical practitioners. These areas are specifically determined by the government as a place for an international professional to come in, due to the difficulty of finding skilled Australians for the position. Areas of need are mainly found in rural or remote regions that don’t have the same attraction as cities and as such, many Australians are opposed to moving there. Areas of need used to be open to both trainee and specialist positions, but recently more and more of the areas are being demarcated for specialist positions alone.

Hiring a doctor or getting a doctor’s job in Australia

In the last decade, there have been fewer GPs opening their own private clinics and an increase in the number of clinics owned by corporations or that are backed by the government. Finding a doctor for your GP practice may now be easy, but the limited registration route is one of seriously consider. Highly qualified international medical professionals are looking for a pathway to live and work in Australia and this offers them a chance to do just that while serving communities desperately in need of their services. If you are looking for a GP for your private practice or a GP job in Australia, then registering with a great recruitment agency is a great way to start. At Schward Recruit, we have the best connection between medical professionals looking to hire and candidates looking for jobs. Get in touch with us if you’d like to know more about GPs in Australia and how we can help you.


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Dr Schultz spent 22 years working in psychiatry and then went on to qualify as a lawyer. He has spent 34 years helping people solve problems and the unique combination of medicine, psychiatry, law and mediation provides a unique academic and practical approach to life's challenges.

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