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SEP 24/2014

The growing need for radiographers in Australia

Qualified medical imaging experts from the UK who are on the lookout for radiography jobs could be well advised to consider the growing range of opportunities available to them in Australia at the moment.

The land down under has often proven a popular destination for British medical professionals who wish to broaden their personal and professional horizons, but recent trends within the Australian healthcare sector have created a surge in demand for radiographers, sonographers and medical imaging technologists that is nearly unprecedented.

Why has demand risen?

The reason for the surge in demand has much to do with the way that Australian healthcare is managed and paid for, particularly with regard to Medicare, the nation's publicly-funded universal healthcare financing and subsidy scheme.

Going back three or four years, demand for medical imaging staff from overseas tended to be fairly low in Australia, thanks to heavy government investment in the education system that resulted in the market being saturated with local graduates. However, in the last six months, changes to the Medicare bulk-billing system have altered the landscape dramatically.

Private practices and hospitals have, for the first time, been given the opportunity to arrange for Medicare to pay for MRI and CT scans for patients without private healthcare insurance - a group that would previously have had to pay for such treatments themselves.

Since these techniques tend to be associated with much faster diagnoses than X-rays, the popularity of these types of scan has spiked, leading many private healthcare providers to purchase new scanners en masse. As such, medical imaging professionals who are able to operate such equipment have suddenly become a hot commodity, with demand outstripping supply by some distance.

What opportunities are available?

As a result of these trends, it is no exaggeration to say there are literally hundreds of jobs available for radiography staff who are willing to relocate to Australia to take on permanent roles for periods of one to three years. Medical imaging experts - particularly sonographers, radiographers and ultrasound technologists - are likely to be offered highly desirable relocation packages, including paid flights and accommodation.  
Meanwhile, for those who are keen to visit Australia on a more temporary basis, there are also options to combine a backpacking tour with locum work; hopping between available roles in each region while also being reimbursed for travel and accommodation costs.

Jamie Walsh, Medacs Healthcare's recruitment manager for medical imaging in Australia, said: "We've never seen demand like it - there are simply too many roles to list on our website. Last month, we had an enquiry from a UK radiographer wanting a permanent role near Sydney - we had him lined up with a placement in less than an hour."

Those who do manage to land an Australian radiography role will also be able to secure salaries that are competitive with the UK's. For a general radiographer position, staff will earn between AU$65,000 and AU$75,000 a year, while CT radiographers can secure annual pay rates of between AU$70,000 and AU$90,000.

Meanwhile, MRI technologists can expect to receive between AU$90,000 and AU$110,000 annually, with sonographers commanding salaries in the range of AU$120,000 to AU$150,000.

For those with the appropriate qualifications and the desire to explore the idea of working abroad, there could never be a better time to take advantage of the possibilities that Australian radiography jobs have to offer.

For more information about Medical imaging jobs with Medacs Healthcare, click here.

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