To work as a GP in New Zealand you need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ). The registration process is reasonably straight forward, and usually, doctors who have qualified and worked in countries with comparable health systems are not required to sit any exams to gain registration with the MCNZ. Once an application is submitted it should take around 20 days to process.
There are two main routes for GP’s applying for provisional general registration, which are the Competent Authority and Comparable Health pathways. Transition Medical will guide you through which route would be most suitable based on your qualifications.
Competent Authority Pathway
The Medical Council recognises the Irish Medical Council and the UK’s General Medical Council as competent authorities. To apply you must hold a primary medical degree from a university medical school in the UK or Ireland, have completed your internship in the UK or Ireland and meet the fitness to practice requirements.
Comparable Health Pathway
You can apply for this pathway if you have a primary medical degree from a university medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools (see here); have worked in a comparable health system(s) for a minimum of 30 hours per week for at least 33 of the last 48 months; have proposed employment in New Zealand in the same or similar area of medicine, at a similar level of responsibility to the work you have done in the last 48 months, and hold a full or general registration in at least one comparable health system which contributes to this time in clinical practice.
If English is not your first language you may first need to sit and pass International English Language tests. Transitional Medical will be able to guide based on your individual circumstances.
Once the MCNZ have assessed your application and determined that you are eligible for the scope of practice that you have applied for, they will email a letter of eligibility for registration and an invitation to complete the process by attending a registration interview once you arrive in NZ. At this stage, we can also apply for your visa. Transition Medical has a specialist emigration team who will guide you through your visa application.
The registration interview allows you to complete registration formalities and apply for your practicing certificate. Once this is completed you will receive your practicing certificate and be ready to start your new role.
All doctors, regardless of seniority, are required to work under supervision for 6-12 months to become familiar with NZ practice and culture. This is an excellent way to integrate and familiarise yourself with practicing in New Zealand. During the supervised period, you will be registered within a provisional general scope of practice, once you complete your period of supervision and complete certain requirements you will be registered within the general scope.