17 October 2007
Doctors with Australian visas enjoy lifestyle and fulfillment
Rural areas in Australia are experiencing a shortage of qualified doctors and are looking to Australian immigration for help. Foreign trained doctors are taking positions in clinics such as Alice Springs in the country's red centre.
It is estimated that 40 per cent of Australia's 55,000 doctors are foreign trained with Australian visas. The Australian immigration system offers a special scheme for doctors with advanced training who go to rural areas.
Often they will not have to sit the Australian Medical Council qualifying exams to register and practice in Australia. Permanent residency and citizenship can also be obtained in a shorter time than usual. Financial incentives are offered to GPs working in "the bush" and they can earn up to £135,000 a year.
Belgian doctor Kristien Brouwers talked to AFP about her job treating Aboriginal patients in Alice Springs and the surrounding area. "It's good to live here. It's a beautiful place. It's a unique environment, quite relaxed, still the advanced world, not the developing world, so it is quite all right to bring up kids."
Dr Brouwers told AFP Australian immigration has given her a good lifestyle, a high standard of living and Australian residency. She also said she and her husband feel they are doing something worthwhile.
Australia needs doctors: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.