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Helpful information

To assist you with understanding your medical registration requirements, visa requirements and possible provider number restrictions, some helpful information can be found by visiting these websites:

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Recency of Practice
English Language Proficiency
Distribution Priority Area and the 10 Year Moratorium
Five Year International Medical Graduate Recruitment Scheme
Common Questions


Recency of Practice

The Medical Board of Australia has some specific guidelines about recency of practice as a medical practitioner. If these apply to you, taking steps to bridge this gap in practice will be necessary.


English Language Proficiency

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)'.


How does my residency status affect where I work?


If you have Australian Permanent Residency or Australian Citizenship and do not have Fellowship with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), you must be enrolled on a 3GA Program to access a provider number. The More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP) 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 or apply through MDRAP for a provider number. If you are considering permanent residency soon you may be best to apply for MDRAP. Contact RDN to discuss the best option for you.



If you are a temporary resident from New Zealand and a New Zealand graduate you must be enrolled on a 3GA Program. The MDRAP is one such program and it is administered by RDN. To obtain a provider number you will need to contact RDN.


District of Workforce Shortage (DWS) / Distribution Priority Area (DPA) and the 10 Year Moratorium

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 10 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. In July 2018, the Distribution Priority Area (DPA) classification was introduced and applied to general practitioner work.   Hence, for the purposes of meeting Section 19AB as described above, a doctor working a general practitioner role must work in a DPA for a period of 10 years.

The 10-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.


Five Year International Medical Graduate Recruitment Scheme

The Five Year International Medical Graduate Recruitment 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.


Common questions

Refer to RDN's list of common questions to assist with understanding the requirements for working as a GP in NSW.

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