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Living and working as a GP in Australia, what can you expect – what will life be like in Australia?

Maybe it is something to do with the climate or the geography, but UK GPs living and working in Australia  find the lifestyle easy going and relaxed and the Australians very friendly.  Australians have a strong work ethic but also enjoy life and seem to get the work/life balance just right.

It almost goes without saying that a warmer, sunnier climate makes everything better, including your outlook on life!  But the Australian lifestyle has much to recommend it.

The country is vast with a variety of climates and landscapes, is rich in minerals, and has a very high standard of living – among the highest in the world.  Taxes are a bit steep, but the flip side is that there is very little poverty.  Originally settled by the English, the population is now very multicultural and diverse particularly in the cities.  For more information about living in Australia visit our Lifestyles in Australia page.

As a GP living and working in Australia you will live well and earn well.  Compared to working in the UK most GPs who make the move find their lives are transformed: they will work fewer hours, get more leisure time to spend with friends and family and enjoy the outdoor life, and yet earn more than they would in the UK.   See more information on Working as a GP in Australia.

Living and Working in Australia

Australia’s health care system is one of the best world-wide and life expectancies are one of the highest in the world. The medical system is a unique mix of private and public funding: primary care is publicly funded on a fee-for-services basis, but the practices operate as private businesses in some instances with shareholder investment. Medicare, a taxpayer funded health scheme, offers health cover for all Permanent Residents and citizens. This health scheme covers the cost of hospital stays and a wide range of other health services including the cost of seeing the GP. Some choose to take out private health insurance – and there are tax incentives for high earners to do so – but it is entirely voluntary. Those who do take out private cover have greater choice about their GP and which hospital they will stay in. If you are a Temporary Resident, it is essential to have private health insurance as you will not be covered by Medicare. For more information, see this blog entry, “Will I have access to public healthcare in Australia when I move there as a GP?“
House prices vary hugely across the country. Sydney is very expensive, indeed it compares with some of the most expensive property worldwide, whereas Adelaide and Perth have considerably lower property prices and GPs working in those cities will have more disposable income than their counterparts in Sydney. And Melbourne’s property prices are climbing close to Sydney’s. Click here for a comparison state vs state. It can be difficult to obtain a loan to purchase property unless you become a Permanent Resident so GPs will find it easier to rent initially. Rental prices have been increasing, but it is still cheaper than buying and is a good option when you don't know for sure where you want to settle. We will assist you with further information on renting protocols as you make the transition to Australia.
Most UK GPs making the move to Australia will use the Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) visa to enter the country and begin working. It is possible to apply for Permanent Residency once you have full registration with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA), but for full information on visa options and permanent residency please visit our Visa and Sponsorship page
The Australian school system is loosely based on the British system with a mix of state and private schools. The state schools are called ‘public’ schools and provide a good education so that private education is not generally considered necessary as might be the case in other countries. The government has a website that compares schools – for more information visit The My School Website.
In Australia, taxes are a little higher than some developed countries but doctors have many legitimate ways of mitigating against their tax obligations. Closer to the time of your arrival in Australia we will put you in touch with professionals who will advise you on the best way to manage your affairs.
Taxable income Tax on this income
0 – $18,200 Nil
$18,201 – $37,000 19c for each $1 over $18,200
$37,001 – $87,000 $3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000
$87,001 – $180,000 $19,822 plus 37c for each $1 over $87,000
$180,001 and over $54,232 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000
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