Surprising impact of Covid-19 on limited registration doctor jobs in Australia

limited registration doctors - Covid-19

Permanent jobs for limited registration doctors have taken a surprising turn in Australia.

Typically, international medical graduates (IMGs) have limited job opportunities in Australia. This is because there's restrictions on where these doctors can work. AHPRA (the medical board of Australia) governs this.

But, since Covid-19 hit, we’ve seen an interesting trend in job opportunities for doctors with limited registration.

First, let’s outline what limited registration means. Then, we'll look at why 2021 might be the best time for limited registration doctors to find work.

What’s limited registration?

Limited registration is a type of medical registration for doctors. It allows doctors whose qualifications aren't from Australia or New Zealand to find work in Australia. Doctors who trained overseas are called international medical graduates (IMGs).

To be eligible, your medical school must be listed by the Australian Medical Council and the World Directory of Medical Schools.

AHPRA assesses your eligibility. If you’re successful, it will grant one of four different types of limited registration. These are:

• Postgraduate training or supervised practise

• Area of need

• Public interest

• Teaching or research

These types are granted for different reasons, based on what Australia’s healthcare workforce needs. For example, limited registration based on an area of need means you’ll registered to work in a rural or remote location, where doctors are in demand.

How hard is it for limited registration doctors to find permanent jobs?

Pre-Covid, finding good jobs was challenging for limited registration doctors.

In most situations, you must practice under supervision and/or at specific locations and even at specific hospitals.

This makes jobs for limited registration doctors, well, limited! Hospitals and clinics prefer to hire doctors without restrictions or supervision requirements.

It’s much easier for Australia or New Zealand trained doctors to find work as a doctor in Australia. This is partly the intent of the different registration types: to hire local doctors before IMGs.

Doctors who trained in comparable health countries (like the UK or USA) can also find work more easily.

In short, it's tougher for international doctors with restrictions to find jobs, even if you work with a medical recruitment agency. You might have to wait some time until the perfect permanent role comes along.

How has Covid-19 changed job availability for limited registration doctors?

We’ve seen a shift in doctor job availability since Covid-19 changed the world.

As the situation starts to settle down and we all adjust to a different way of working, it’s clear that doctor job vacancies have changed too.

The most obvious change is that there is less movement. Doctors aren’t travelling to Australia for work as frequently. Doctors from comparable health countries like the USA and UK aren’t moving to Australia for work in the same volumes as before Covid-19.

Doctors continue to be in demand across Australia. But there’s still not enough locally trained doctors to fill vacancies.

For limited registration doctors this means:

• There’s less competition for roles than there was in 2019

• There are more permanent job opportunities available for limited registration doctors

Though limited registration doctors still need to jump through a few hoops to get their ideal job, it’s more possible than ever before.

Working as a doctor in Australia

Dr Nay Lwin Htet moved to Australia from Malaysia in 2016. After years of struggling to find the right role, he signed up with Medrecruit in mid-2020.

By January 2021, he had his ideal job and was training as a general practitioner.

Like many doctors on limited registration, it took Dr Nay time and determination to get there. But with help from a medical recruitment company, he found his perfect job.

If you are a doctor on limited registration in Australia, now is the perfect time to find your ideal job. Register with Medrecruit to get expert help getting there.

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Bethany Rogers
01 July 2021Article by Bethany RogersMedrecruit Editor