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JUL 26/2013

Becoming a GP in Australia


Australia is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque countries on the planet but the nation could also been seen as a land of opportunity.
Every year thousands of Brits emigrate Down Under and if you are considering furthering your medical career, Australia can offer a host of opportunities including becoming a GP in the country.
The Australian government is currently rolling out an e-health system across the nation in a bid to improve patient treatment. ABC News reports that GPs in the Hunter region as well as Brisbane and Melbourne are currently trialling the system.
However, despite the initial positivity surrounding the new technology a number of services are now seemingly struggling to integrate it to their day-to-day workings.
Dr Peter Hopkins, from Newcastle's King Street Group Practice, told the news provider: "It doesn't change unless someone re-enters [the information] and puts in a new page, so it's not something that can easily be altered in someone who changes their medications or other health issues develop unless the page is updated, it still has the old information on and that's what we access."
He went on to add that the doctors in the group practice continue to support the programme despite the initial problems.
Why work in Australia?
Aside from the obvious lifestyle perks, Australia has so much to offer when it comes to working as a GP. explains that the country is "awash with opportunity for highly skilled medical practitioners" and that it prides itself on having one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
The country provides a wide range of educational facilities geared towards helping medical professionals and GPs can the best career development opportunities available to them. For GPs and locum doctors there are numerous ways in which they can improve their skills as well as advancing their career.
Australia is also rife with programmes and incentives for those health professionals that would be interested in relocating or remaining in remote parts of the country. Due to the sheer size of the nation these isolated communities increasingly rely on a GP.
What to expect from being a GP in Australia
GPs are held in high regard within Australia's public health system and even more so in the rural parts. For those wanting to move into these sparsely populated areas they will need to be able to provide a range of specialist services.
Skills in areas such as obstetrics care, anaesthesia services, trauma management and minor surgery will all be great use due to the shortage of medical practitioners in these types of specialisms in rural regions.
The Australian government also runs the Rural Health Workforce Strategy (RWHS) which offers a range of benefits for those willing to relocate to rural areas.
Among these include being eligible for payments of up to $120,000 and access retention payments of up to $47,000.
For those opting for a more central location in terms of employment, Australia is covered by the universal public health system Medicare. This runs a series of incentive programmes for GPs including the General Practice Immunisation Incentive payments which provides financial benefits for GPs giving appropriate immunisation to children under the age of seven.

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