It is your responsibility to understand your medical registration requirements, visa requirements and possible provider number restrictions. Helpful information can be found by visiting these websites:
- Medical Registration – Medical Board of Australia
- Visa Requirements – Department of Immigration and Border Protection
- Medicare Provider Number – Medicare Australia.
Recency of Practice
English Language Proficiency
District of Workforce Shortage and the 10 Year Moratorium
5 Year Overseas Trained Doctor (OTD) Scheme
Rural Medical Family Support
If you do not have recency of practice as a medical practitioner you will need to take steps to bridge this gap in practice. Please refer to the Medical Board’s current standards.
The Medical Board of Australia requires all applicants for initial registration to demonstrate English language skills to be suitable for registration. Review the Board’s current requirements - select 'English language skills registration standard (medical)'.
- If you have Australian Permanent Residency and Australian Citizenship and you are applying to work as a GP in NSW you must be enrolled on a 3GA Program. The Rural Locum Relief Program (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.
- 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 a 3GA Program.
- 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.
Section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) requires overseas trained doctors (OTDs) and foreign graduates of accredited medical schools (FGAMS) to practise in a district of workforce shortage (DWS) for a period of ten years from the date of their first medical registration in Australia. Section 19AB of the Act acts as a workforce distribution mechanism to ensure doctors are directed to work in communities that have the most acute unmet needs.
A district of workforce shortage (DWS) is a geographical area in which the local population has less access to Medicare-subsidised medical services when compared to the national average.
The ten year period is commonly referred to as ‘the 10 year moratorium’. If a doctor has not obtained Australian permanent residency or citizenship by the end of the 10 year moratorium, they will still require a section 19AB exemption in order to access Medicare benefits arrangements.
For further information refer to the DoctorConnect website.
The 5 Year Scheme offers reductions to the 10-year moratorium to overseas trained doctors (OTDs) who work in locations which are the most difficult to recruit to. By participating in the Scheme and working in remote locations in NSW, OTDs may reduce this time restriction to as few as three years. See guidelines and a list of eligible locations.
The NSW Rural Medical Family Network (RMFN) is funded by RDN to support and assist medical families in rural and remote medical practice by:
- Creating a 'friendship network' to lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation experienced by some rural families
- Providing crisis assistance for rural doctors and their families who are stressed or ill.
Refer to RDN's list of common questions to assist with understanding the requirements for working as a GP in NSW.