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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 dependents 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 before joining GP Training Program

When you are on a GP training program, the program will manage your access to a Medicare provider number until you attain GP Fellowship. The avenues to accessing a Medicare provider number before joining GP training are limited and your residency status may impact your options.

Australian Permanent Residents or Australian Citizens

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 closed to NEW applicants from 31 March 2024. The program is replaced by the Pre-Fellowship Program (PFP) from 2 April 2024.

Please contact the Medical Recruitment team to discuss your provider number requirements.

Temporary Resident and not from New Zealand

If you are a temporary resident and not from New Zealand you can apply directly to Medicare or apply through PFP for a provider number. If you are considering permanent residency soon you may be best to apply for PFP. Contact RDN to discuss the best option for you.

Temporary Resident from New Zealand and a New Zealand graduate

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


Further information on Medicare Provider Number legislation is available from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care DoctorConnect website. You may also contact RDN’s Medical Recruitment team for support.