We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions which we trust will answer most of your concerns, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you need further help – just complete the form below or give us a call.
How long does it take to get registered as a GP in Australia?
As a general rule we would say to allow 6 months for the registration process. However recently there have been changes to some parts of this process therefore we would now recommend 6-8 months to be on the cautious side. At Alecto Australia, we specialise in GPs, so we are experts in the registration process. We have a dedicated Registration Manager who will guide you step by step through the process and offer support with application preparation.
How much will I earn as a GP in Australia?
In Australia GPs are independent contractors so are not on a salary. You will bill Medicare per consultation and then earn a percentage of these billings. For more information on GP salaries, check out our annual GP salary survey.
How do I get a job as a GP in Australia?
By far the simplest way is to get in touch with us! We will talk with you about your aims and objectives in making the move, discuss your professional aspirations with you, and then put you in touch with a potential employing practice. Generally you will proceed to an interview by phone, skype or WhatsApp, and following a successful interview, you will be offered a job and sent a contract. Once you sign the contract, the job is protected for you, and subject to meeting the registration and visa requirements will be yours to take in approximately 6 to 8 months’ time.
I am looking to move to Australia on my own, what support do you offer when I arrive?
We focus on transition support as one of the most crucial parts of the process. Over the years we have developed a range of systems to support GPs through many different aspects of the transition process. We provide advice through our partners on taxation, indemnity, and insurance. We also provide our GPs with a step by step guide on what to do when they arrive including setting up a bank account, obtaining a driver’s licence and advice on where to live and the best spots to spend the weekend!
We also believe in strong relationships at Alecto Australia and enjoy catching up with GPs at our regular Alecto Connect events around Australia. Alecto Connect is also an opportunity to socialise and network with other GPs, you don’t have to work with us to come along to these events as they are open to all GPs.
Will I have to do out of hours or weekend shifts?
This will largely depend on the clinic you choose to work with however as a general rule most clinics will use a rotating roster. This means that you may need to work one night or one weekend day a fortnight for example. However, these shifts are the best for building your patient base, especially when you first commence!
How many hours will I work per week?
A standard full-time week is considered 38-40 hours, and this includes time for paperwork and all other requirements however clinics are flexible with working hours.
Where in Australia can overseas trained doctors work?
Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) are restricted by section 19AB of the health insurance act, which requires them to work in a District of Workforce (DWS) location for the first 10 years of registration in Australia. For more information on 19AB and DWS please click here.
Is there really a shortage of GPs in Australia?
There is still a significant shortage of GPs in Australia and will be for the foreseeable future. In Sydney and Melbourne these shortages are limited to the outer suburbs. The demand from the practices for UK GPs is as strong as ever – in Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide it is probably the strongest it has been for a number of years.
Where can I get information about life in Australia?
While it is difficult to make comparisons with other nations, Australians are thought of as relaxed and easy going. But there is also a lot of reliable data to suggest that Australians work very hard. What we do know is that the climate and geography of Australia provide lots of opportunities for outdoor leisure and relaxation. Our Alecto consultants will be happy to provide you with answers to your questions about living in Australia.
How many patients will I see per day?
This largely depends on the practice and your preferences. On average GPs would see 3-5 patients per hour.
What is the MBS
MBS stands for Medicare Benefits Schedule which is a list of Medicare items that doctors can bill for their services. Doctors can bill patients more than the amounts set by the MBS however patients can only claim money back up to the amount the service is determined as by the MBS.
What is the typical structure and operations of a medical practice?
There are two main clinic structures in Australia: corporate or private practices. Corporate practices generally own a group of 10 or more practices, they generally have 10+ GPs working at each practice and have operation managers looking after each state.
Private practices are groups with 1-4 practices and can generally have between 5-10 GPs working at each site.
The majority of practices in Australia will have allied health and pharmacies onsite or very close by.
I am about to complete my GP training (either FRACGP, MRCGP or MICGP). When can I apply for a new job?
Most of our clients are happy to wait 6 months for a new GP to start, and some will even wait 9 months. So, feel free to contact us a few months before getting your final qualification and we can start looking for the right job for you.
How much does the registration process cost?
Costs of applications are constantly changing, however the full cost of the registration process including your visa could be between $4000 – $6000AUD.
I found my own position: can Alecto still help with registration?
Yes, we can certainly assist you through the registration process. Contact our Registration Manager Megan Lewis for more information on email@example.com
Do I need to complete an English language assessment?
If you completed your primary and secondary schooling in the UK then no, you will not have to do an English language assessment. However, if you completed your primary, secondary and tertiary schooling in a non-English speaking country you will need to sit an English Language Test. This is regardless of any postgraduate studies you may have completed in an English speaking country.
Who is affected by a DWS and 19AB?
Overseas Trained Doctors (IMG/OTDs) and foreign graduates of an accredited medical school (FGAMS) who are restricted by section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) will be affected by DWS restrictions.
This means that if you obtained your primary medical degree in another country or commenced your degree in Australia before you were a citizen, then you could be subject to 19AB and DWS.
How is a DWS determined?
DWS are determined by the Department of Health and Ageing (the Department) using both Australian Bureau of Statistics population data and Medicare Australia billing data.
In general, a location is deemed to be a DWS if it falls below the national average for the provision of medical services of the type provided by the applicant. Population needs for health care are deemed to be unmet if a district has less access to medical services than the national average.
Although the Department uses the GP to population ratio in determining DWS status, other information is available to assess whether DWS status should be considered. Sophisticated mapping and other workforce statistics are used to determine the locations of medical practices, and the number of GPs and patient movements to and from practices.
Which areas have DWS?
The department maintains a map that allows you to look up addresses across Australia.
There are still small pockets of DWS around most of the Metropolitan cities in Australia, however, there are usually fewer jobs available in these areas. From time to time the areas that have DWS will change.
How long does it take to get a DWS exemption approved?
The complete process (from finding a job through to receiving a Medicare provider number) can take a few months, so the sooner you get started the better. The actual Medicare application process for your DWS/19AB exemption can take a maximum of 6 weeks to be approved. In practice, we are often able to get these approved in around 3 weeks for our GPs.
When do my 10 years start?
It starts when you are first awarded medical registration in Australia. You do not need to have held continuous registration for 10 years.
What happens if an area loses its DWS status after I accept a job but before I get my Medicare provider number?
As per the guidelines issued by the Department of Health they will give you a 19AB exemption (DWS) provided that the area was a DWS at the time you were negotiating the contract.
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