“Recruiting world class doctors across Australia”

Doctors guide to living and working in AustraliaFor decades Doctors from the UK and further afield have seen working and living in Australia as THE dream move.

Even to the present day Doctors are still flocking here, but there is a healthy amount of information to download and digest first before starting the process.

If you need wanting to get going fast please visit our Doctors Jobs page to fast track the process.

That is where Blugibbon comes in.

We’ve broken down each consideration under the headings below and will explain each step of the process:


Healthcare System
Language Requirements
Impact to Career


Transferring a UK Pension


Although not too complex to understand there are some key points to take on board.

Approximately 70% of Australian’s healthcare expenditures are funded by the Australian government, with two major national subsidy schemes called Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Having said that, 55% of Australians use Private Health Insurance and the Government provides a subsidy of 30% to individuals that purchase it.

Healthcare system in australia


Medical Board Registration times with AHPRA vary based on the type of registration applied for and seniority.
Senior House Officers (SHOs) and Registrars should allow 3-4 months after securing a position, but for Consultants and GPs this can take at least 6-8 months.
Work in beautiful Sydney, Australia
The stages can be summarised below:

Stage 1 – Australian Medical Council

The AMC is responsible for ensuring the standards of education, training and assessment of the medical profession ensure the health of the Australian community.
They will determine eligibility at this phase and usually decide which level you are applying for as an International Medical Graduate (IMG). It is encouraged that you confirm your eligibility before you apply for work through Blugibbon.
The pathways determined by the AMC are below:
1. Advanced Standing within AMC
To be eligible you will have:
  • A primary degree from the UK, Ireland, US or Canada and currently hold full registration in the country where you received your primary degree or;
  • Have completed the equivalent licensing exams (such as PLAB I and II, NZREX, USMLE) and;
  • Have completed a full year of supervised practice in UK, Ireland, US, NZ or Canada

2. Specialist jobs Australia

To be eligible you will have:
  • Have completed a specialist training program in another country, or are within two years of completing an accredited specialist training program
  • You are then eligible to have your qualification assessed by the equivalent Australasian College and they will then determine what (if any) additional requirements they wish you to undertake to gain specialist registration in Australia

3. AMC Examination

If you do not fall into either of these categories, but you do have a medical degree from a medical school listed in the WHO directory, then you will need to complete AMC examinations which involve an MCQ Exam and a Clinical Examination.

Stage 2 – Specialist College (if required)

The relevant specialist college will assess the Doctor’s comparability to an Australian trained Doctor, reviewing training, examinations and clinical experience. Interviews are a possibility.

Stage 3 – Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

AHPRA provide the final approval for a Doctor to practice in Australia, based on recognition that a Doctor meets all requirements and is deemed competent to perform up to the healthcare standards desired by Australia.

Stage 4 – Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP).


After receiving an “Approval in Principle of Limited Registration” letter from AHPRA, you will be eligible to apply for a temporary skilled visa.
For all Doctors we use the Temporary Skilled Shortage visa (Subclass 482) program.
The Temporary Skilled visa can provide up to a four (4) year visa, with the duration of visa dependent on your personal and professional goals.
Get approval to immigrate and work in AustraliaEligibility for a Permanent Visa is dependent on you attaining General Registration with AHPRA, and subject to other eligibility requirements for independent or sponsored permanent pathways.

All Doctors have to satisfy the requirements of the Medical Board of Australia.

This means taking an IELTS, essentially an official English test.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).


Senior Medical Officer (SMO) / Specialist
Working in Australia offers an incredible lifestyle for Specialists where they can immerse themselves in the local community and culture. Because Senior Doctors are in high demand, there is also the opportunity to quickly progress your career.

General Practitioner
General Practitioners can enjoy a relaxing lifestyle while working in major cities or smaller communities in Australia. GPs are in high demand all throughout the country, therefore the opportunity for career advancement is high.

Junior Doctor

As PGY4+ Doctors are in short supply in Australia there are great opportunities for overseas Doctors to enter training programs and complete their training here.

Progress in your career with Blugibbon


Australia has a unique blend of native cultural traditions coupled with newer influences from cultures across the globe. In fact, over 25% of Australia’s population of 23 million were born overseas.

This mix of personalities and cultures has unified its people under a shared love of country.

This rich cultural diversity is represented in Australia’s vibrant art scene and of course, Australia has a notoriously passionate sporting population.

Even if you live in the city, you and your family can achieve a fantastic lifestyle.

Locumming in Sydney, Australia


There are a wide range of housing options in Australian cities ranging from sleek high-rise apartments with beautiful rooftop pools to spacious homes with land in beautiful suburbs.

Country towns and regional cities are smaller and more isolated. Renting homes is usually done through real estate agents.

Average weekly rate for a 3 person bedroom rental property ($AUD)
Hobart, TAS = $310
Adelaide, SA = $350
Melbourne, VIC = $375
Brisbane, QLD = $400
Canberra, ACT = $460
Perth, WA = $480
Sydney, NSW = $500
Darwin, NT = $700


In the public sector, Doctor salaries vary from state to state and are based on fixed Government award rates.

Approx. Basic Salary ($AUD)
Junior Doctor / SHO = $60,000-$110,000
General Practitioner = $150,000-$350,000
Consultant / Specialist = $230,000-$400,000 +

Tax Rates
$0-$18,200 = 0%
$18,201-$37,000 = 19%
$37,001-$80,000 = $ 3572 + 32.5%
$80,001-$180,000 = $ 17,547 + 37%
$180,000+ = $54,545 + 45%

Additional Salary benefits with Blugibbon

Additional Salary Benefits
In addition to competitive salaries, permanent Doctors working in Australia are entitled to:

Up to 5 weeks paid annual leave per year
Up to 10 days paid sick leave per year
Superannuation to the value of 9.5% of total salary
Specialists are also likely to receive a yearly CME allowance as well as travel and accommodation allowances.

Blugibbon guide to Doctor Tax rates and Salary


The Australian school year runs from January to December with four school terms.

You can find out more about the educational year here.


If you are thinking of making the move to explore Doctor jobs in Australia you may wish to consider transferring your UK pension.

Recent changes to regulations make the process a lot easier to transfer a pension than it used to be.

Contact us - useful links

When looking to work as a Doctor in Australia with a medical locum agency, we hope the above information has been useful.

If it has, let us know by sending an email to [email protected] You can also view our Doctors Jobs  page to find out more.

Contact us or send an email to set up a time to chat informally. We cannot wait to see you in Australia!

Useful links:

Moving – Palmers Relocations

Advice – Bob in Oz

Schools – The Good Schools Guide

Rentals – Domain, Realestate.com.au

Currency – XE

Sharing is caring!