Soon, foreign doctors dreaming of working in Australia may no longer be allowed as reports say that the federal health department wants to curb work visas for foreign trained doctors.
It is considering scrapping 41 jobs from the Skilled Occupation List-including GPs, surgeons and anaesthetists, as the Health Department believe locally-trained doctors would struggle to find work with too much competition.
Figures suggest that there were 2155 general practitioners and 1562 resident medical officers in Australia on visas, at the end of March. Removing such a large number of work visa for foreign trained doctors shall be counterbalanced by increasing numbers of local medical graduates who could fill vacancies, especially in regional areas.
“Australia’s health system has a complex division of funding, policy and operational responsibilities,” the submission, published by News Corp on Tuesday, said.
“It is also currently highly reliant on international health professionals, in an environment of increasing concerns around ethical recruitment of those workers,” it said.
“Immigration is often used as a short-term demand management strategy and it continues to be poorly coordinated,” a Health Department submission into the review of the Skilled Operations List reads.
“Over a longer planning horizon, better management of migration pathways for international health professionals must occur in combination with all commonwealth departments”
These are currently recommendation, most likely to be revisited by the new government formed in Australia. This visa restriction will be supported by both the Australian Medical Association and the Rural Doctors Association, but these incentives to make regional medical work more enticing for locally-trained practitioners would also help curb the staff shortages.
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