Attracting and retaining high-quality doctors in rural Western Australia.

The Five Year Overseas Trained Doctors Recruitment Scheme provides incentives to attract and retain appropriately qualified and experienced doctors who have completed their medical training overseas.

What is the Five Year Overseas Trained Doctors Recruitment Scheme?

Recruitment-Candidate-Info-LP-IconIf you are a general practitioner, who has completed your training overseas, and are currently working in rural Western Australia, you may be eligible for the Five Year Overseas Trained Doctors Recruitment Scheme (the Scheme).

The main objectives of the Scheme are: 
  • To provide incentives to attract appropriately qualified and experienced OTDs working in general practice to overcome the current and future community needs for general practice medical services in rural and remote Australia; 
  • To increase the supply of appropriately qualified OTDs in rural and remote Australia; 
  • To enhance the professional development, skills and knowledge of OTDs in Australia; and 
  • To bring a degree of stability to the provision of general practitioner services in rural and remote communities.

What are the Australian Government incentives?

The Australian Government acknowledges the need to offer incentives to attract doctors with appropriate qualifications and experience to work in areas of greatest need.

The Scheme offers a reduction in the ten year moratorium on provider number restrictions under section 19AB of the Act. The Delegate to the Minister for Health will grant an exemption without geographical restrictions to participating doctors who have satisfied the following requirements of the Scheme, which are:

  • To complete the required term of service in a location deemed eligible for the Scheme;
  • To attain Fellowship with either the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM); and
  • Attain permanent residency and/or Australian Citizenship.

Eligibility criteria for the Scheme locations and medical practices

Locations and medical practices must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the services of an OTD participating on the Scheme: 

  • require at least seven sessions per week as part of the placement; 
  • placed within a Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Area (RRMA) classification 4–7 and the location and medical practice is considered to be a district of workforce shortage; and 
  • for Aboriginal Medical Services funded by the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH), the location and medical practice must be within RRMA 3 – 7 areas. 

Eligibility Criteria for Overseas Trained Doctors

This Scheme applies to OTDs who are restricted under section 19AB of the Act in accessing Medicare benefits arrangements. OTDs wishing to participate on the Scheme must meet the following criteria:

  • Have recognised general practice training and qualifications falling within Category 1 or Category 2 of the Australian Medical Council Specialist Pathway; or
  • Provide evidence they are eligible to be assessed for FRACGP or FACRRM within two years of commencing on the Scheme;
  • Hold or obtain appropriate registration with the Medical Board of Australia;
  • Intend to seek or currently possess permanent residency and/or Australian Citizenship; and
  • Will be providing at least 7 sessions a week as part of their placement.

Application process

For information about the application process, please contact the Workforce Services Officer.

Rural Health West will assess the application to review eligibility of both the practice and the applicant. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have general practice experience and potential eligibility for enrolment and completion of FRACGP and FACRRM within two years of joining the Scheme and all other eligibility criteria.

Enrolment on the Scheme commences on the date the acceptance letter and agreement is approved and signed by Rural Health West's Chief Executive Officer or approved delegate. There are no circumstances in which acceptance on to the Scheme can be backdated.

Scheme applicant guidelines 

For more information on the Scheme please view the Australian Government Department of Health Program Guidelines.