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Australia has 'too many GPs' and should reduce immigration, claims report

A major report has called for a reduction in the number of overseas GPs entering Australia to work, after a ‘huge influx’ of GPs from abroad.

According to the report, there has been ‘sharp increase’ in the numbers of GPs in Australia seen since 2006, and that the level of GP services currently being provided is well above the level needed.

The report from the Centre for Population and Urban research at Monash University - called ‘Too Many GPs’ was published earlier this year and recommended that the recruitment of international medical graduates on ‘limited registration’ should be stopped because there is ‘no need’ for them. 

Pulse recently reported that more GPs than ever are considering emigrating from the UK, with Australia a popular destination.

But the report’s authors recommended that immigration of GPs should be reduced.

It says: ‘The recruitment of further IMGs from overseas on limited registration to GP and hospital doctor positions should cease. There is no need for more limited-registration IMGs, yet the numbers being sponsored on 457 visas is surging-reaching 2,633 in 2011-12.’

It adds: ‘There has been a sharp increase in the number of full-time-work-equivalent GPs billing on Medicare since the mid-2000s.

‘The level of GP services in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan is well above that considered by the medical manpower authorities in the past to be adequate.’

‘Much of this growth in GP employment came from a huge influx of doctors from overseas since 2006.’

But Health Workforce Australia – a Australian government body - criticised the report, claiming that many of the findings were based on inaccurate and outdated data.

It said: ‘Health Workforce Australia has completed a thorough analysis of the criticisms and has found a number of inaccuracies and issues.’

Readers' comments (10)

  • Plenty of other places to go, other things to do...few things are worse than staying in NHS Primary Care. It gets worse every year!

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  • Agreed - people should not be dissuaded. There are many options, all of which are better than the outlook over the next few years here.

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  • what are the other places one can immigrate to from UK
    new zealand seems an option. Canada wants an exam. USA needs an exam. Arab world , is not safe Australia doesnt seem to want us. and our very own UK doesnt seem to value us or want us anymore, but only drive a nail through our coffins

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  • There is an abundance of GP work in Australia. I left Australia in 2012 and I am inundated with work offers from down under.

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  • The report is inaccurate.

    Dont be dissuaded from emigrating to Australia.

    You dont have to work in the cities as most of the rural centres are crying out for GP

    Look at some of the websites that are recruiting UK GPs and you'll see that there are still plenty of jobs out here

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  • In oz now, the doors are closing, there version of the rcgp - the RACGP is very strong and will never let the government flood the market with GP's. Ie will keep pay high. Iif only the uk rcgp would follow suit...

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  • As a UK trained GP in Australia certainly the pressures from a shortage of GPs are easing. The issue is very much the distribution of GPs though - cities and urban areas have higher proportion than rural and remote areas. There certainly are still opportunities and our company is recruiting.

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  • Left UK 3 years ago for Oz and am working 80km from state capital, in a lovely coastal town. My appointments are booked up for 2-3 weeks, we are a large practice and could easily take on more docs. We have so much demand that we don't routinely bulk-bill (patients make a co-payment). City general practice is possibly over-subscribed, but there's plenty of work out of the cities.

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  • Hi there , don't listen to that rubbish . Please e mail me at------

    I am willing to take any number of you who wish to come to work at my practice.

    An Australian DR

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  • I moved to Australia 2yrs ago for a 6 month working holiday - still here and earning over twice as much in Australia (living in the worlds best liveable city for the last 4 years running) as I was in the UK without all the red tape, pressures and stress! Applied for PR and intend to settle here - buy a "mansion" which I could never afford in London on a UK salary and be mortgage free within 5 years compared to 30 years in UK.

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