Is there an age limit for GPs?

A question we’re asked so often is ‘am I too old to work in Australia or New Zealand, or ‘what is the age limit for working as a GP in Australia or New Zealand?

The answer is, there is no age limit. We have placed GPs ranging from newly qualified doctors through to GPs who have reached retirement and fancy a spell working overseas.

Age is not a factor for the majority of our medical practices we work with. Most are looking for good all-round GPs with comparable qualifications.

Let’s address what practices are looking for:

Australia

If a practice in Australia is unable to find a suitable GP from within Australia they will first look overseas for a GP with substantially comparable experience such as the UK or Ireland.

The Australian registration process changed on the 1st September 2019. The registration pathway allows for those with comparable qualifications to submit a comparability assessment. To find out more please do get in touch.

New Zealand

New Zealand practices will look to comparable countries.  There are over 20 countries which are considered comparable. For a full list please the Medical Council website.

Age Limit for Visas

To apply for a temporary visa to work in either Australia or New Zealand, as long as you meet the other health and good standing criteria, then age is no factor.

If you are planning a permanent move then the age limit when applying for an independent permanent visa in Australia is 45, there are options after this age for you to be sponsored by the practice. In New Zealand, you need to apply before you reach 56. Our specialist immigration advisor can advise on your individual circumstances. For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Top Tips for GPs Relocating to New Zealand

Here at Transition Medical we get asked many questions from GPs new to their New Zealand GP job search. As one of the leading UK GP recruitment agencies we have compiled a brief checklist of things you’ll need to have (and think about)!

1. Primary Medical Degree from a recognised university – MBBS, MB ChB, MD, MB BCh, BM etc

3. Language Skills – All overseas trained GPs are required to demonstrate their English competency. This is fairly straightforward for overseas GPs. It can be proven if English is your primary language, you completed your primary medical degree from a recognised English-speaking country (UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa or USA).

Another way of meeting this requirement is to have worked continuously as a registered medical practitioner where English was the first and primary language for a minimum of 2 years and can provide the names of two referees who can attest to your English language ability.

Otherwise you would need to sit an appropriate English language test eg IELTS or OET.

4. Medical Registration – Full, current and unconditional registration from your current authority (i.e. GMC) and unconditional registration from any previous registering authority. You will need a Certificate of Good Standing from each authority you have been registered over the last 5 years.

5. You must either hold a Primary Medical degree and have completed your internship from a Competent Authority such as the UK or Ireland or hold recent experience from a Comparable health system.

6. A Job Offer – To work as a GP in New Zealand and be able to secure medical registration and a suitable employment visa you must secure a job offer. The first step of this process is to speak to one of our medical recruitment specialists to find you a great GP job in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or a fantastic coastal town or somewhere more rural. Whether you want city, beach or country life, we can find you what you’re looking for!

7. Timescales – The medical recruitment and visa process for New Zealand is relatively straightforward and will take approximately 3 months. We would recommend getting in touch around 6 months prior to you wishing to relocate.

8. Age doesn’t matter – GP practices are looking for good all-round GPs, so whether you are newly qualified, mid-way through your career or reaching retirement there will be a GP vacancy available for you.

9. COVID – We have to mention it. Although the New Zealand border is currently closed to most, GPs are still able to apply for an exemption to cross the border. We have had many doctors successfully relocate during this time. Managed isolation (MIQ) is required however we will help you navigate this process.

10. Finally – When considering working as a GP in New Zealand, it may seem a daunting process and you’ll be weighing up the pros and cons of relocating. Many GPs have already made the move and find the working conditions and lifestyle to be far superior than the UK. Discover what our GPs have to say and why we’re one of the Best Doctor Recruitment Agencies

If you are considering a move or just want to chat through options we have a dedicated team who will guide you through every step of the whole process. Visit our latest vacancies or contact us directly here.

June 2021 – Update on DPA Area for Overseas Trained Doctors in Australia

The annual update of the DPA (Distribution Priority Area) will be available on 1st July 2021. The DPA is updated annually based on the latest available billing data and population statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The aim is to ensure the distribution of medical practitioners in communities of greatest need.

What does this mean for GPs?

If an area gains DPA status (the area has now been assessed as not receiving adequate services for the needs of the community), practices in the area will now be able to employ Overseas Trained Doctors.

If an area loses DPA status (the area has now been assessed as receiving adequate services for the needs of the community), GPs who hold an existing exemption under section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973 can continue to practise at their location provided they continue to meet the conditions of their exemption.

To find out whether a location is deemed a DPA you can click here.

Under current DPA classifications, areas within 30 minutes to 1 hour in the larger cities such as Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra are available however this may change from the 1st July.

We would like to see that the changes made in July 2021 lead to some areas such as Perth become DPA as there are currently no DPA areas there, however If you are considering a move to Australia, we would recommend getting in touch to discuss options before the 1st July 2021.  We currently have opportunities in city, regional and rural communities of Australia.

Desirable destinations Down Under now available as a result of changes to current DPA Areas

International Medical Graduates (IMG) continue to be in high demand in Australia; enabling access to a world-class health system while enjoying beautiful surroundings in warmer climates.  Now due to a new set of guidelines it is easier to work closer to the sought-after city locations.

Under new guidelines, IMG’s with substantially comparable specialist qualifications participating in the PEP, can work either in MM1 and DPA or MM1 and Priority GP catchment areas.  DPA refers to Distribution Priority Area which aims to facilitate the placement of medical practitioners in communities of greatest need.  The MMM (Modified Monash Model) is used to assess where the need is. MM1 are the most metropolitan areas and MM7 are the most rural.

A Health Workforce Certificate (HWC) is still required however we will liaise directly with the practice to secure this on your behalf.

In light of these recent changes, we will be adding lots more GP Jobs to our website very shortly so please keep checking to see our latest vacancies –https://transitionmedical.com

Whether you are ready to go or just want to chat through your options, we can help – info@transitionmedical.com or call our friendly team on +44 (0) 7983 685945

For information on gaining medical registration in Australia – read our blog here 

For more information on the new guidelines around where you can work see here.

Current Covid-19 travel restrictions – what this means for doctors wishing to relocate to New Zealand and Australia.

Due to the ever-changing guidance around travel we felt it might be good for those interested in relocating to Australia or NZ to answer some frequently asked questions. We hope you find it helpful,  if you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch 
AUSTRALIA
Q. Can I still apply for a new GP Job? and once I have a job offer and my visa approved, am I eligible to travel?  
A. Yes – Australia continues to have border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community, however there are exemptions we can apply for to enable us to continue to recruit and fill vacancies throughout Australia.  There continues to be a strong demand from healthcare employers in Australia to recruit International Medical Graduates.
Travel exemptions as determined by the Commissioner:
  • Foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Australian Commonwealth Government for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response or whose entry would be in the national interest
  • Critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports
  • Persons with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception
  • Diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australia and their immediate family
  • ​Case-by-case exceptions may also be granted for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.

We have a fully committed immigration team who will manage the visa applications on your behalf and be available to help with any queries regarding exemptions. Please note exemptions must be granted prior to undertaking travel to Australia.

You can apply for an exemption using this online form.  Exemptions are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

To supplement your application for exemption, you will need to provide evidence that your employer requires you to start immediately for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response, we will request and assist with this on your behalf.

Q. Do I need to quarantine on arrival?

A. Yes  – All travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities, in their port of arrival.​ See here for specific detals.  Upon arrival, you will be transported directly to designated facilities after appropriate immigration, customs and enhanced health checks. This requirement applies to anyone, including Australian citizens/permanent residents and temporary residents exempt from the travel ban.

Q. Are there any caps on international passenger flows?

A. Yes unfortunately there are – In order to manage and maintain quarantine arrangements across the jurisdictions of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, National Cabinet agreed to implement caps on international arrivals, and an extension of current international passenger flight restrictions into Victoria. There has been a reduction in the number of flights available into and from Australia however the national government will review this policy on 24th October 2020.
NEW ZEALAND
Q. Can I still apply for a new GP Job in NZ and once I have a job and have my visa approved, am I still eligible to travel?
A. Yes – Like Australia there continues to be a strong demand for GPs in New Zealand and we have continued to recruit throughout this year for positions in both the North and South Island. Our immigration team are on hand to advise and support border exemptions and visa applications.
The New Zealand borders are closed for all but critical travel — protecting public health in New Zealand. However, we can apply to the INZ for border exemptions and critical purpose visas to enable entry as GP’s are considered as a critical health worker who hold a key position required to deliver critical services within the NZ health system.  If you have a dependent partner or children, you can also include them in the request. You must be able to prove you are in a genuine and stable relationship with your partner.
Once your border exemption application has been submitted, an immigration officer will assess your request and if they are satisfied that you are eligible to travel to New Zealand, they will contact you with information about what to do. As they are dealing with high numbers of requests for assistance, they are currently aiming to respond within two working days, however, this timeframe may be longer depending on enquiry volumes and the complexity of requests received.

Before submitting a request, please consider the availability of flights to New Zealand and travel restrictions for any country you may need to transit on the way to New Zealand.

Q.  Will I need to quarantine on arrival and what can I expect?
A. Yes – To help stop the spread of COVID-19, people who do arrive in New Zealand legally must complete at least 14 days of managed isolation or quarantine at an isolation facility. You will be assigned a room in a managed isolation facility for the duration of your stay. This will take into account how many people are with you. Everyone who is entering on a border exception as a critical worker will have to pay for the quarantine costs. You will receive an invoice after their departure from managed isolation and will have 90 days to pay.  Feedback from GP’s who have recently left quarantine have advised that its comfortable and have been well looked after.
As the above is all subject to change, we recommend referring to the below websites for the most up to date information.
If you are considering a move to Australia or NZ, either ready to move or just consider your options please do get in touch via email (info@transitionmedical.com or phone +44 (0) 7983 685945 to see how we can help.  We have GP positions across both Australia and NZ offering amazing work life balance and generous salaries.

Update on Distribution Priority Area (DPA) for Overseas Trained Doctors in Australia

The annual update of the DPA will be available on 1st July 2020. The DPA is updated annually based on the latest available billing data and population statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The aim is to ensure the distribution of medical practitioners in communities of greatest need.

What does this mean for GP’s?

If an area gains DPA status (the area has now been assessed as not receiving adequate services for the needs of the community), practices in the area will now be able to employ Overseas Trained Doctors.

If an area loses DPA status (the area has now been assessed as receiving adequate services for the needs of the community), GPs who hold an existing exemption under section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973 can continue to practise at their location provided they continue to meet the conditions of their exemption.

To find out whether a location is deemed a DPA you can click here or search the Distribution Priority Areas map on www.doctorconnect.gov.au

If you are considering a move to Australia, we would recommend getting in touch to discuss options before the new DPA is published on the 1st July 2020.  We currently have opportunities in city, regional and rural communities of Australia.

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Travel restrictions and exemptions – Australia and NZ

We hope you are all keeping safe and healthy.  The advice relating to travelling to both Australia and New Zealand has been changing, we have updated our blog to give you the most up to date information.  Our team continues to work remotely from home and continues to be here for you if you have any queries or questions, please do get in touch.

AUSTRALIA

The prime minister announced that only Australian citizens/permanent residents and New Zealand citizens usually residing in Australia can travel to Australia.  However, the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) may consider entry under an exemption.

Exemptions as determined by the Commissioner:

  • Foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Australian Commonwealth Government for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response or whose entry would be in the national interest
  • Critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports
  • Persons with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception
  • Diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australia and their immediate family
  • ​Case-by-case exceptions may also be granted for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.

Exemptions must be granted prior to these travellers undertaking travel to Australia. The request for an exemption through Commissioner’s Discretion must be accompanied by:

  • Passenger details: name, DOB, visa type and number, passport number, Australian residential address, Australian telephone number)
  • Case information: why this case should be considered for Commissioner discretion/exemption
  • Supporting statement: the request should be accompanied by a statement and evidence of how the individual meets one of the grounds for an exemption or excise of the Commissioner’s discretion listed above.

You can apply for an exemption using this online form. Exemptions are assessed on a case-by-case basis and must be granted prior to undertaking travel to Australia.

Along with applying for an exemption, you will need to provide evidence that your employer requires you to start immediately for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response.   We can assist with this.

Please note: You need to have your visa approved prior to applying for an exemption.

Self-Isolation requirement:

All travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities, in their port of arrival.​ Travellers will be transported directly to designated facilities after appropriate immigration, customs and enhanced health checks. This requirement applies to anyone, including Australian citizens/permanent residents and temporary residents exempt from the travel ban.

It has yet to be determined how long the travel restrictions will last, we will keep up to date with developments and advise on any changes as soon as we have them.

As the above is all subject to change, we recommend referring to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for the most up to date information.

NEW ZEALAND

The New Zealand border is currently closed to most travellers. New Zealand citizens and permanent resident visa holders can travel to New Zealand.   Immigration New Zealand will consider exemptions to travel.

Consideration will only be made for people with exceptional circumstances who have a critical purpose for travelling to New Zealand.

You must have a critical purpose for travelling to New Zealand, and:

  • meet health and character requirements for temporary entry
  • be a bona fide applicant
  • meet the funds or sponsorship requirements for visitors
  • meet onward travel requirements.

You can use this link provides further information on the above criteria.  You can use the filters to display country specific tips, to assist you with your application

Critical purposes for travelling to New Zealand

Essential health workers

A health care worker is a current or new employee where the employee holds a key clinical or non-clinical position working as a Medical Doctor in

  • a District Health Board
  • New Zealand Blood Service
  • hospice or palliative care
  • a primary care practice such as urgent care or a medical or healthcare centre
  • aged residential care, respite or continuing care facility.

Consideration will be given as to whether the person holds the necessary qualifications and registration (if required) to work in New Zealand.

Partners and dependent children of essential health workers who will accompany them may also be included in the request.

You can apply for an exemption here. You can make a request if you already have a New Zealand visa, if you have submitted an application for a visa, or if you do not have a visa.

Once your application has been submitted, an immigration officer will assess your request and if they are satisfied that you are eligible to travel to New Zealand they will contact you with information about what to do.  As they are dealing with high numbers of requests for assistance they are currently aiming to respond within two working days, however, this timeframe may be longer depending on enquiry volumes and the complexity of requests received.

Before submitting a request, please consider the availability of flights to New Zealand and travel restrictions for any country you may need to transit on the way to New Zealand.

Self-Isolation requirement:

If you arrived in New Zealand from any country in the last 14 days, you should self-isolate for 14 days from the date you departed the last country you visited.

For further up-to-date information – please see here

We appreciate this is a difficult time with everything being so uncertain.  Our team is here to help, so please do contact us if you have any specific questions or queries.  We are in this together!

 

COVID-19: A Message from Transition Medical

I think we can all agree that it has been a surprising and ever-changing week. We can only imagine that it is a stressful and challenging time for those on the frontline NHS. You would be forgiven for not placing your overseas move as your number one concern at a moment like this. We hope that you, your families and loved ones are well and that disruptions to your personal life have been kept to a minimum.

As you may be aware the authorities in Australia and New Zealand have implemented a travel ban placed on all non-residents and non-Australian citizens coming to Australia, effective from 9 pm on Friday.

We do however understand that these life-changing events may allow you to pause and reflect on what you want to be doing in your career. We will continue to offer our full recruitment service and support as we always have done and are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the current situation.

As many companies are currently, our small team at Transition Medical are working remotely. We have operated remote teams since being established meaning that our operations are somewhat resilient to the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus. You will notice no difference from the service you receive from us.

We continue to work with outstanding practices in stunning locations across both Australia and New Zealand, within fantastic locations. The medical registration and visa process to allow you to work in Australia continues to take up to 9 months, New Zealand approx 3 months to complete by which point the pandemic will have hopefully passed.

We look forward to continuing to support you.

Hear what other GPs have to say about our GP relocation service

We have recently received some wonderful feedback from a Dutch GP we’ve helped secure their new role in New Zealand. Dr Lex is currently working as a GP on NZ’s north island and has sent in a few words and a great photo. When we asked for feedback and if and how we could improve our service he responded with this…

‘Walk me through the airport and carry my bags 🙂 – no you guys were the best, I could not think of anything. You responded always, were always available when I called and came up with great ideas with me asking such as applying for a work to residence visa. Thanks Emma, Kirsty and the whole team!

We wish Lex and his family all their best for their new life down under. It was a pleasure to help them find a great new role and life in New Zealand.

If you would like to find out more about what life is like in New Zealand as a GP please do get in touch