Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Australia was the clear winner in a recent six nation study on the quality of healthcare, placing first or second in every category and far outpacing the United States and Canada. Another global study found the island nation to have the best end-of-life care in the world, and it is the second highest scoring nation on the UN's Human Development Index. With subsidized medications, universal healthcare, and one of the highest life expectancy rates (84 for women and 79 for men), Australia doesn't seem like a country in desperate need of healthcare professionals.

The truth, however, is that the Australian government and medical establishment are constantly seeking out international locum doctors in order to maintain that high standard. Medical professionals account for 11% of all jobs in Australia's, and ¼ of those jobs are already held by immigrants from around the world. With an aging population, comprehensive public care, and a booming private health industry, nurse and doctor jobs are always available and medical workers from around the world are encouraged to apply for visas.

Because it is a rich, developed country with a high standard of living, the normal immigration process is very strict. Even temporary and work visas can be difficult to obtain or require a great deal of waiting, money, paperwork, and difficulties. For medical professionals, the situation is very different; Australia has several programs in place designed to make it easier for them to overcome any obstacles. Qualified applicants looking for hospital jobs should be able to find a fast-track to their visa, especially if they are from an English speaking country or fluent in English.

For doctors, radiologists, and other specialists, the Medical Practitioner Temporary Visa provides for up to four years in the country, while nurses and other non-specialist healthcare workers are encouraged to apply for the four year Business visa. Because of the acute shortages of medical professionals, those interested in staying longer are also in luck; permanent visas can be arranged for anyone sponsored by a prospective employer. Medical specialists can also seek a permanent visa under the General Skilled Migration program, which attempts to match skilled prospective immigrants with under-served areas.

Specialists of all sorts are sought, but general practitioners are especially in demand, and GP jobs are available all over the country and at many levels. GPs are always needed to work in small or rural hospitals and some regions are so desperate that they offer very high salaries, free housing, cars, and other inducements. The Australian government also offers many attractive benefits for those willing to work in the most remote areas. The adventurous may be interested in serving the most rural communities in another way; a position with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a not-for-profit “aeromedical” group dedicated to providing emergency care and traveling clinics, with GPs being shuttled to remote areas on a semi-regular basis.

Rural and remote isn't the only option, of course; doctors are also needed for research, teaching positions, and work in hospitals large and small. Nurses are likewise in demand for both urban hospitals and rural community clinics, as well as in the growing field of elder-care. As Australia's healthcare industry grows and the population ages, qualified medical professionals of all kinds will be in even more demand.

Contact Profile

Ochre Recruitment

Ochre Recruitment is an Australian medical recruitment agency which helps medical professionals find jobs in Australia and New Zealand.
Dunya Carter
P: + 61 3 6224 4399


medical jobs, hospital jobs, locum tenens, locum, GP recruitment, GP jobs, doctor jobs,



More Formats

View QR Code