Frequently Asked Questions

Poole Medics takes care of all the logistical details managing the whole process from beginning to end, leaving you to get on with what you do best. If relocating from overseas we can assist with sourcing short term accommodation for when you arrive, advice on schools, accommodation, car/transport and other general issues concerning you and your family.

  • Why work in Australia?

    There are many good reasons for medical professionals to work in Australia. Here are some of them:

    • Warm, temperate climate
    • Relaxed outdoor lifestyle
    • Friendly people who help create friendly working environments
    • High standard of living
    • Better salaries
    • Different experiences, different medical situations, career development
    • Australia has an excellent health care system with advanced facilities, good medical infrastructure and for the most part, the latest technology
    • Radiology and pathology services are now corporatised in Australia resulting in, for example, digital radiology, image distribution systems, extremely rapid pathology investigations and same day reporting all being normal practice in Australia.
    • Australia is a growing centre for medical research supported by government funded resources
      Medicare, the national public health care system, is the major provider of healthcare services in Australia. Medicare is a free to all Australian citizens and covers hospital and community medical services
    • Opportunities abound to work in remote and rural areas providing UK nationals with truly unique medical experiences
    • Healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses hold greater authority in Australia within the hospital system than in other countries. Professional groups representing nurses and doctors are very strong, which helps to protect the interests of healthcare workers

  • Am I responsible for the medical registration and visa application fees?

    You pay for these costs as they relate to your professional registration requirements and your ability to practice in Australia however you will be eligible for a tax deduction on these costs. You may find that your employer is willing to help you with some of these costs and this is something you can discuss with your employer during your contract.

  • What is the length of the average contract or placement?

    Normally contracts are permanent or fixed term placements of 12 months or more. Shorter contracts are not really worthwhile due to the administrative burdens and the time it takes to obtain registration and fulfil visa requirements which can take up to five months.

  • Who pays for my medical indemnity insurance?

    Generally medical indemnity insurance is provided by the employer. If this is not the case you will be advised during the contract negotiation stage. In the case that you are responsible for your own insurance, as a general rule, the rates in Australia are comparable to those in the UK and Ireland.

  • Do I need to undergo any medical tests?

    If entering Australia on a Business 457 Visa you will be required to have chest X-rays, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C.

  • What is Medicare?

    Medicare is the Australian public health care system that is free to all Australian citizens. Introduced in 1984 as a Federal Government administered health insurance, Medicare aims to provide high quality healthcare that is affordable and accessible to all Australians. Medicare includes free or subsidised treatment from medical practitioners as well as some services from allied health and dental practitioners. It also provides subsidies for prescribed medicines with a safety net providing free medicines for the chronically ill.

    Medicare benefits are paid based on a comprehensive list of services and corresponding benefits which is the Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS). If the medical practitioner provides an eligible service such as a consultation at the MBS recommended fee, the patient pays no fee at the point of care and this is often referred to as ‘bulk billing’. If the medical practitioner provides a service and elects to charge more than the MBS recommended fee, the patient pays the higher fee and then claims back the MBS fee from Medicare.

    Some services under Medicare and at public hospitals have long waiting lists. Because of this more and more Australians are opting to have private medical insurance however, they are also able to access the benefits of Medicare.


  • What is a Medicare provider number?

    To work as a medical practitioner in private practice in Australia you must have a Medicare provider number. Provider numbers are location specific so you will need one for each location in which you practice. There are different levels of Medicare access under the provider number scheme depending on the Medical Board Registration and satisfying the legislative requirements on accessing Medicare rebates.

    A Medicare provider number can allow a doctor to raise referrals for specialist services and make requests for pathology or diagnostic imaging services. Where the doctor satisfies the legislative requirements, their provider number may also be used to attract Medicare rebates for professional services rendered that is, treating private patients.

  • Do I need a visa to work in Australia?

    Yes you do. Australia is a great place to work however working in Australia is not an automatic right. To work, you must have a valid Australian visa with work rights. Australian workplace laws will provide you with basic protection and entitlements.

  • How do I arrange a visa?

    This is really where Poole Medics can provide you with a lot of assistance. We, along with your new employer, will deal with all your visa application requirements from start to completion leaving you to get on with what you do best. We can discuss your particular circumstances when you get in contact with us.

  • What visas are available for UK and Irish GPs?

    The two temporary visa options available to UK and Irish GPs are:

    1. Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa (subclass 457)
    2. The Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)

  • 1. Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa (subclass 457)

    This visa is the preferred temporary visa pathway for doctors entering Australia as it allows applicants to take advantage of streamlined processing arrangements which include the ability to lodge applications over the internet.

    This type of visa can be valid for three months to four years and can be extended after the four year period. It is in three parts:

    1. a) Sponsorship – where the employer applies to be a sponsor,
      b) Nomination – where the employer nominates a position,
      c) Visa Application – where the employee applies for a visa.

    Doctors should generally apply for a Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa (subclass 457). Employers must lodge a separate Sponsorship Application for each doctor sponsored.

    A 457 Visa has a number of advantages including:

    Successful applicants can work in Australia for a period of between one day and four years,
    • Successful applicants can bring any eligible secondary applicants with them to Australia (secondary applicants can work and study), with no limitations.
    • After entering Australia, successful applicants have no limit on the number of times they travel in and out of Australia.

  • 2. The Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)

    If under the age of 31, you can enter Australia on a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) which allows you to work in the same medical practice for six months. You can apply for a Business 457 visa in that six month period.

    The 417 visa is a temporary visa for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. This visa encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible countries.

    Further information about visas can be found on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

  • How long will a temporary visa allow me to work in Australia?

    A doctor can work in Australia for up to four years on a temporary visa as long as a health care facility has agreed to sponsor them. Poole Medics usually recommends applying for a four year visa (which can lead to full citizenship). After two years with the same employer you are eligible to apply for Permanent Residency and after one year of Permanent Residency you can apply for citizenship.

  • How long does it normally take to get registered in Australia?

    The minimum amount of time for an application to be processed for a doctor of 28 years of age with no complications is approximately six weeks. However, Poole Medics advises candidates to allow a period of three to four months for a typical application. Senior and complicated placements can take up to six months and as such we advise candidates to factor this time frame in when contemplating start dates.

  • What is the tax rate in Australia?

    Rates of taxation are comparable to tax rates in the UK however when you take into account higher Australian salary levels, the 25% lower cost of living and GST (VAT) at 10%, you will find you are financially better off working in Australia.

    To do your own comparison click on the calculator below. You’ll need to convert your UK salary to Australian Dollars.

    Australian Tax Calculation

  • How do I contact Poole Medics?

    To get started, please fill in the details on the contact us page.

    When you fill in the details on the Contact Us page you can also forward your CV to us via email if you wish.

    On receipt of your email we will contact you to discuss your employment ambitions in Australia. We can then provide you with all the information you need to get started. This can be done by email, Skype or telephone.

    Please be assured we are here to make your transition to working in Australia as easy and as smooth as possible. We also aim to ensure your experience and the service you receive from Poole Medics is outstanding.

  • Does Poole Medics charge a fee for this service?

    No, not to you!

  • How much can I earn as a GP in Australia?

    Click on the earnings tab on our Recruitment page page for more information on this.

  • How does Poole Medics take a fee?

    Poole Medics’ fee is the paid by your employer or owner of the GP practice once you have completed your three month probationary period.

  • What is a District of Workforce Shortage (DWS)?

    A district of workforce shortage (DWS) is a geographic area in which the local population has less access to Medicare-subsidised medical services when compared to the national average. These areas are identified using Medicare billing statistics which are updated regularly to account for changes in the composition and geographic distribution of the Australian medical workforce.

    DWS was introduced in October 2001 and continues to be used to identify areas of Australia that experience the most need for medical services as evidenced by a comparative shortage of doctors who are billing Medicare.

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