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Escape to Australia… oh, hang on a minute



Here’s a heads up for any of you who’ve been considering a life spent throwing shrimps on the barbie, strolling along sun-kissed beaches and maybe seeing the occasional crook Aussie to pay the bills.

It not the great white sharks, it’s not the dunny spiders, it’s not even the requirement to finish every sentence with an an annoying upward inflection. It’s worse than that.

The Australian Medical Council is seriously considering the introduction of a revalidation system largely based on, and here’s the funny bit, the British model.

Appraisals once a year, a five year cycle, an annual learning portfolio – all the cornerstones of the UK set-up are there – leading up to a five yearly revalidation.

And that’s just Plan A. ‘Higher risk groups’, and that’s everyone who’s been flying solo in practice for more than five years (so that’s ‘all of you’), get to be appraised every six months if the Aussie’s answer to the GMC opt for Plan B. As if preparing for an annual half day spent bullshitting like crazy about holistic, patient-centred, inclusive general practice didn’t involve enough form filling already.

And as for Plan C, you don’t want to know. Really, you don’t. Suffice to say that hoards of Flying Doctors might be boarding planes heading for the UK if it ever comes to fruition.

Hopefully the Aussies will be able to distinguish fair dinkum from complete bunkum and punt the idea into the outback where it belongs.

Otherwise there will be a lot of disappointed doctors who’ve already booked their short break in London to include a visit to Australia House.

There is some good news though. It’s only a short walk from there to the Canadian High Commission, so the weekend might not be an entirely wasted.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield