Medical Doctors Taken off OZ Skilled Occupation’s List
Until recently overseas doctors were listed on the Australian Skilled Occupation List (SOL) but they are due to face visa restrictions as Australia claims that there are enough local doctors to fill positions along with up to 14 other health professions. This is despite claims from rural health chiefs that there is still a shortage of medical professionals in some remote areas. Australian doctors and immigrant medics both prefer to work in one of Australia’s state capital cities rather than in hard to access, remote locations in the center of the continent.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has reported that there is not an urgent need for some types of doctors but that foreign medics could still apply to work in Australia, but on another type of visa category. Until now doctors from countries around the world have been in demand in Australia, particularly in the last 15 years. The AMA stated that there is now more coverage of doctors in Australian cities and rural areas and that there is not such a pressing need for foreign medical professionals. Some doctor’s bodies in Australia are not convinced that there are enough doctors in every area however and want to retain the ability to hire doctors from overseas. Even though the AMA report found that by 2030 there would be an oversupply of 7,052 medical doctors in Australia, evidence would suggest that there will still be recruitment needs in remote areas of the continent and that foreign doctors who want to immigrate to Australia could look for positions in areas of the country away from the cities. There may also be a gap in particular medical specialties, which would need to be filled by foreign medical professionals in the future.
It would seem that even though the profession is to be taken off the SOL, there would still be opportunities for overseas doctors to apply for jobs in Australia if they are prepared to live in rural areas or that they have the specific specialty that is required.