Australia Healthcare Professional looking into microscope Australia Healthcare Professional looking into microscope


Australia Healthcare Professionals Shortage

#immigration #healthcare

Australia is going through a severe drop in professional healthcare providers. The situation is deteriorating further due to the cumbersome, lengthy visa and registration process for foreign health professionals.


Reason for Shortfall in Australian Healthcare


During Covid-19, Australia's healthcare sector experienced a deficit, resulting in limited migration from abroad into their medical system. Furthermore, due to overwork during the outbreak, many health workers grew weary, causing many to leave their professions.


Problems Foreign Health Professionals are Facing In Immigration and Registration

Many foreign professional caregivers want to help with the shortage. Still, the complex visa process and long travelling hours to different states for registration discourage workers from abroad. Not only this but calling a migrant worker in the medical sector is also very costly for medical practice and doctors. 

Getting registered is also a long and hectic process for a healthcare provider. To put it simply, each step in the process takes months to complete. Thus, according to many foreign candidates, they have been waiting as long as five years for their visas. 

The biggest problem in the registration process is that it must be completed stepwise. It means only after completing one step you can move to others. So your full-time depends on how long each step takes. To get an idea of the duration, read our next section.


The breakup of the registration process according to time

It is essential to know that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals' registration time differs. Look at an example below:

  • Suppose you are applying as a General Practitioner (GP). In that case, you will be assessed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). The assessment may take more than 10 weeks.
  • After this step, a GP needs to apply to register as a medical practitioner. The registration request is approved by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). It usually takes 10 to at least 13 weeks. 
  • Now, you can secure your job offer and apply for a work visa.
  • When you get a visa for work and arrive in Australia, you must apply for a Medicare provider number and registration number. Usually, it takes 11 to 13 weeks.  

So overall, it may take you more than a year to go through the whole process. That is why many are now looking to work in other countries, particularly Canada and the United Kingdom. Even though Australia is vying with Canada and the United Kingdom to attract health experts, needlessly protracted processes will make the problem only worse for them.



Words of Australian Regulatory Bodies


People are voicing concerns about this system and demanding making the whole procedure be fast, cheap and easy for the applicants. Meanwhile, the healthcare and immigration department, and overall regulatory body, have something optimistic to say. These regulatory bodies include RACGP, The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) and The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

According to them, they are trying hard to make the system as efficient as possible. But there can be no compromise on health standards and whether they are calling a suitable person who can work in our health sector. Hence, we must go through a thorough check to ensure who we call to our land. Moreover, they say that the assessments take an average time of fewer than four weeks unless complications are encountered with documents from other countries.

According to the Victorian Healthcare Association CEO, Tom Symondson, Australia needs to prioritise healthcare work immigration.

Thus the optimistic approach from Australian medical bodies and their continuous work towards smoothing the whole system may soon resolve the issue of healthcare workers' deficit.


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