Queensland faces a doctor shortage

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Sekuir Migration can advise doctors and medical specialists on their working visa options

The abolishment of the 457 Visa, which was the most common visa for Australian employers to sponsor skilled workers from overseas to work temporarily in Australia, has caused fears of a shortage of doctors in Queensland.

The state government says that it will have be short at least 80 doctors a year, particularly in remote and regional areas.

Regional areas, which already face a shortage of medical staff, previously relied on the 457 Visa to attract foreign doctors to fill the shortfall.

Currently 1 in 10 medical interns working in Queensland are on 457 visas. 

Australian doctors don’t want to work in regional areas

The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has worked for decades to increase the number of medical staff in regional Australia, and to provide better support for the medical workforce in these areas.

As a result, medical professionals are being offered generous housing and vehicle packages to practice in remote communities, but Australian-born practitioners are rejecting regional areas.

Commonly cited reasons for not moving are the Medicare rebate freeze and rising costs of running practices, as well as 24 hour on-call conditions, and the lack of luxuries available.

How foreign doctors are affected by the visa changes

For medical doctors that have held or applied for a subclass 457 visa on or before 18 April 2017, the good news is that they’ll be able to apply for permanent residency. Temporary Residence Transition stream eligibility criteria apply for this provision.

Those medical professionals who got their 457 visa on or after 19 April 2017 will find that the reforms to the 457 visa may be in their favour: the list that contains occupations assessed as of high value to the Australian economy includes doctors.

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSS) is favourable to foreign doctors

Medical doctors in roles that feature in the new MTSSL will not only get four-year visa that can be renewed indefinitely but they also have the option of applying for permanent residency.

For foreign general practitioners, surgeons and specialists in a number of fields including cardiology, paediatrics, psychiatry and emergency medicine, this represents an opportunity to take up available – and potentially very lucrative – jobs in regional areas.

Contact us for a complimentary visa consultation

If you’re a doctor or medical specialist considering moving to Australia to live and work, you may be eligible for a free visa consultation.

To enquire about this service, contact us and tell us a bit about yourself.

Please note that to be eligible for a free consultation with us you must be able to speak English.