Medicare Provider Numbers
Medicare is Australia’s healthcare system. It ensures that all Australians have access to free or low-cost medical, optometrical and hospital care while being free to choose private health services. Medicare covers all permanent residents and Australian citizens. Temporary residents and foreign diplomats and their dependants are excluded.
To work as a doctor in Australia, you may need to have a Medicare provider number. This number allows your patients to claim Medicare rebates for the services you provide.
A Medicare provider number may allow you to: raise referrals for specialist services; make requests for pathology or diagnostic imaging services and attract Medicare rebates for professional services rendered (that is, treat private patients).
A Medicare provider number uniquely identifies both you and the place where you work.
Accessing a provider number:
- If you have Australian Permanent Residency or Australian Citizenship and do not have fellowship with the RACGP or ACRRM, you must be enrolled on a 3GA Program to access a provider number. The Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP) is one such program and it is administered by RDN. Please contact the Medical Recruitment team to discuss your provider number requirements.
- If you are a temporary resident and not from New Zealand you can apply directly to Medicare for a provider number and do not need to access the RLRP.
- If you are a temporary resident from New Zealand and a New Zealand graduate you must be enrolled on a 3GA Program. The RLRP is one such program and it is administered by RDN. To obtain a provider number you will need to contact RDN for the appropriate forms.
Further information on Medicare Provider Number legislation is available from the Australian Government Department of Health DoctorConnect website. You may also contact RDN’s Medical Recruitment team for support.
Rural Other Medical Practitioners (ROMPs) Program
Please note that the ROMPs program will cease to new entrants on 1 November 2018. For more information, please see the Department of Health fact sheet or contact RDN for assistance.
The Rural Other Medical Practitioners (ROMPs) program currently enables some rural GPs to attract the higher (A1) Medicare rebates for their patients. To be eligible, a doctor must be providing services in any of the following locations:
- RRMA 4 to 7
- RRMA 3 with District of Workforce Shortage (DWS)
- Defined Areas of Consideration (AOC) – contact RDN for further information.
Separate applications are required for ROMPs and Medicare Provider Numbers.
Search RDN’s GP Vacancies web page with ROMPs-eligibility by applying the relevant filter.
For further information, refer to the Department of Health website.