Visa Rules are not Changing for UK GPs
10th August 2016 | GP News
Report from the online newsletter – Australian Doctor.
No move to end visas for IMGs
There are no plans to stop bringing IMGs into the country to fill workforce holes, despite claims the Federal Department of Health wants to end work visas for overseas-trained doctors.
Media reports suggest the health department has called for 41 health roles — including GPs, resident medical officers, surgeons and anaesthetists — to be removed from the country’s Skilled Occupations List.
The move is meant to “herald the end” of the nation’s shortage of domestically trained doctors, according to the Australian newspaper.
The health department said that the number of Australian-trained doctors had “increased substantially over the past decade” and it was necessary to “consider whether existing immigration markers are still appropriate for our health workforce needs”.
However, a health department spokeswoman told Australian Doctor: “It should be emphasised … that overseas-trained doctors have been, and will continue to be, an important part of the health workforce.”
Related News: Reliance on IMGs greater than ever
The Skilled Occupations List is generally used by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for granting family visas.
Historically, only a small number of doctors have come to Australia through this channel.
The main avenue for IMGs has remained the 457 visas, which are based on the so-called Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List, and usually involve sponsorship by employers or state and territory governments.
Australian Doctor was told on Tuesday morning that there is no current government consultation on removing health occupations — including medical specialties like general practice — from this list.
The future use of IMGs in Australia remains an issue, however, with the AMA and RACGP saying the number of doctors now being trained in Australia is largely sufficient to meet future workforce needs.
Source: http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/latest-news/no-move-to-end-visas-for-imgs-health-department (registration required)