Do you have a GP vacancy that you are struggling to fill? Do you have trouble recruiting VR Doctors? For many regional Practices in Australia it has been an ongoing struggle to find Fellows or General Registrants who want to relocate. Some of our Practices have vacancies for over 18 months while they patiently wait, hoping for a Doctor to join their team. There are some wonderful International Doctors who would love to start supporting their family in Australia and in my experience, they generally show great loyalty to the first Practice that gives them this opportunity.
There seems to be a lot of fear around providing supervision though, and I think we need to debunk a few of the myths and shine some light on this!
A Doctor will hold Limited or Provisional AHPRA registration when they first work in Australia, unless they hold Fellowship in an equivalent country. As per AHPRA’s requirements, this Doctor must have a minimum of 3 years General Practice experience in their own country.
They need a practice that is willing to take the time to orient them to the Australian Healthcare system. As a limited registrant with AHPRA they will require a supervisor with a minimum of 3 years Australian General Practice experience and ideally FRACGP or FACRRM for a minimum of 12 months. They will also need a co-supervisor.
The supervisor should be prepared to offer support and have frequent meetings with their supervisee. Remember these doctors have a minimum of 3 years’ experience in their own country, so they know how to Doctor – the supervisor needs to teach them Australia, about the MBS, who to refer to and how to use the computer system.
There are 4 levels of supervision. A Doctor who hasn’t worked in Australia will generally receive Level 1 or Level 2 supervision requirements. This is to ensure the Doctor has enough support to understand the Australian healthcare system, and to understand how to work with Medicare.
Level 1 supervision requires the supervisor to be onsite at all times when the Limited Doctor is providing clinical care and needs to consult their supervisor about the management of all patients. It is Important that the Principal Supervisor understands that they are responsible for their supervisee and the clinical care of all of their patients.
For Level 2 supervision The Principal and Limited Doctors share the responsibility for patients and need to discuss patient care at agreed internals. If you work with several GPs, you should nominate a secondary supervisor to assist the main supervisor.
Level 3 and Level 4 require indirect supervision. It isn’t something a brand new doctor into Australia should expect to get.
DID YOU KNOW: AHPRA is unlikely to allow any doctor to increase to Level 3 supervision within their first 12 months? It’s a little tip we’ve noticed along the way.
Don’t stress, this is what we specialise in! We will take care of all of this for you and explain the process every step of the way.
At People Medical, it is our job to help you find the best Doctor for your team who is going to make a long term commitment to your Practice. We will work with you to find the Doctor that suits your Practice – and it’s our role to manage the process so you can focus on what you do best.
We prepare all the documents you and the doctor need to become a team. You’ll be emailed and posted a detailed position description, supervision plan, Area of Need approval, training plan and a specifically formatted curriculum vita along with the application form… phew! We put together a very detailed “How To” to make sure this process is as easy for you as possible, and we’re not going anywhere – you can ask us questions at any stage, from 8 days in to 8 months in!
We often hear our clients talk about how they’ve been searching for in excess of 12 – 18 months…or more! A doctor requiring limited registration can be on your desk now and whilst the lead time can be longer than you’d hope, you’ve got a doctor on the way and plenty of time to prepare for them. Having a mixture of registration levels in your Practice can help you fill vacancies that could otherwise have gone unfilled.
The Doctors we work with have years of experience. It may be in a different medical system but that’s why they are given such a good orientation into our health system. Once they get the hang of that, you’ve got a Doctor with significant Medical experience working within your team.
To move positions, a Limited Doctor must sit another position specific PESCI exam, gain approval via AHPRA and either have their visa transferred or new approval through their 3GA program before heading back through Medicare for a new provider number. It’s a long and expensive process so they are unlikely to leave your Practice until they achieve General Registration at the very least. By this point you will have built great rapport with your GP, they have built an established patient base and they and their family will have built a life in your community.
Once you’ve properly oriented a Limited Doctor into your practice and into the Australian healthcare system, there are no limits on this Doctor. They can see a full patient load, as advised by their supervisor and be bringing a strong income stream into your Practice.
You are giving this Doctor an opportunity to live in our beautiful country and to work in their chosen profession as well as proudly provide for their families. They will contribute to your workplace and settle into your community – what reason do they have to leave? There is no restriction on these Doctors to leave after a certain timeframe. Providing everyone is happy, you could have this Doctor for life.
There are so many overseas trained Doctors wanting to work in Australia – how do you pick the right one for your practice? How can you feel confident they are going to make it through the rigorous selection criteria to gain registration? How do you get through all that beastly paperwork? Don’t worry – this is what People Medical specialise in!
We will work with you through the entire process, identifying doctors with superb communication skills, who build rapport easily and who will meet AHPRA’s stringent selection criteria. We manage all the paperwork and connect you with any other professionals you may need, such as migration advice. We also provide a detailed orientation plan to give you a guide to getting the Doctor ready and raring for their first day, first week, first month and first year!