13 March 2007

Rural Australia targets British doctors

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British doctors are being targeted by a campaign to lure them to Australia and ease the chronic shortage of GP's, particularly in rural areas.

The BBC reports today how rural New South Wales, is seeking to fill 175 vacancies now and beat projections of an estimated shortfall of between 275 and 410 doctors by 2012 in the State.

The threat of severe shortages of GP provision in Australia is exacerbated by the fact that 20% of rural doctors are facing retirement. Between 2002 and 2004 there was a 31 per cent in the number of full time equivalent medical practitioners across rural and remote Australia.

In a recruitment drive the Rural Doctors Association of Australia has sent 1,700 promotional DVDs to British GPs to tempt them into emigrating to Australia.

Australia is particularly keen on British doctors due to the similarities in language and training standards, and with 30,000 newly qualified and junior British GP's facing the prospect of just 22,000 NHS posts available, believes many will be tempted Down Under.

For some British GP's, moving to Australia has been the best decision of their lives.

"You use a wider range of your skills than in an office-based practice in the UK," Dr Steve Sylvester told the BBC, having left North East England to take up a position in the small community of Scone, some four hours drive from Sydney.

"You have a much sunnier outdoor lifestyle and, as a result it's much less stressful. And the pace of life is much slower than, which has to be a good thing."

Doctors, surgeons, nurses, midwives and other medical professionals are included on the Australian Government's Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). Professionals on this list receive bonus points and applications for emigration to Australia are fast-tracked.

Medical professionals interested in working in Australia have a number of options available to them, more information is available on our skilled migration pages.

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