This locum doctor guide in Australia is our support for our doctors. At Blugibbon our focus is making things easier for you. Because we know that when things are crystal clear everyone is happy: Doctor, Hospital, Agency. Information and transparency are the keys! In this section, you will find all the information you are looking for before or during your jobs as a locum doctor in Australia.

Considering working and living as a locum doctor in Australia? 

Australia boasts some of the best landscapes in the world in which to enjoy a medical sabbatical, locum placement. Or even permanent medical career! Exploring bustling cities, perfect beaches, stunning deserts and unique rainforests make for endless adventures. 

Australia is consistently ranked among the world’s best places to live in terms of income, healthcare, economic growth, and human development. It is the world’s 13th largest economy and has the world’s 6th highest income per capita.   

Australia is the largest country by landmass and with that comes plenty of living and lifestyle options. Whether you’re keen on surfing every day, trekking rugged national parks on the weekends, or discovering a new city, we can help find the right placement for you.


Locum doctor guide in South Australia
SOON Locum doctor in SA
Locum doctor guide in Northern Territory
SOON Locum doctor in NT
Locum doctor guide in Tasmania
SOON Locum doctor in Tasmania
Locum doctor guide in ACT
SOON Locum doctor in ACT


Working as a locum doctor in Australia 

Healthcare System

  • 70% of Australia’s healthcare expenditures are funded by the Government.
  • The 2 major national subsidy schemes are Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
  • 55% of Australians use Private Health insurance.
  • The government provides a subsidy of 30% to individuals who purchase private insurance. 


Registration times vary based on type of registration applied for and seniority. 

SHOs and Registrars should allow 3-4 months after securing a position, but for Consultants and GPs this will take at least 6-8 months.

Stage 1: The AMC is responsible for ensuring the standards of education, training and assessment of the medical profession promote the health of the Australian community.

Stage 2: The relevant specialist college will assess the Doctor’s comparability to an Australian trained Doctor, accessing training, examinations and clinical experience. Interviews are a possibility.

Stage 3: 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.

Registration: Confirming Eligibility  

An International Medical Graduate is someone who has gained their primary medical qualification outside of Australia or New Zealand. There are several pathways to registration in Australia and you must confirm your eligibility for one of these pathways to be able to apply for work through Blugibbon.

1: Advanced Standing within AMC

To be eligible for ‘Advanced Standing’ with the AMC you must:

  • Have a primary degree from the UK, Ireland, United States or Canada and currently hold full registration in the country where you received your primary degree 


  • Have completed the equivalent licensing exams (such as PLAB I and II, NZREX, USMLE) & 
  • Have completed a full year of supervised practice in UK, Ire, US, NZ or Canada 

2: Specialist

To be eligible for registration as a ‘Specialist’, Conditional Area of Need Specialist,’ or a ‘Specialist in Training’ you must:

  • 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. 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 don’t 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 and a clinical examination. 

Start Times 

At Blugibbon we are happy to talk to you any time of year, just pick up the hone or send us an email with your current circumstances.

Impact to Career

SMO / Specialist:

Working ‘Down Under’ 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’s also the opportunity to quickly progress your career.

General Practitioner:

General practitioners can enjoy a relaxing lifestyle in Australia while working in major cities or smaller communities. GPs are in high demand all throughout the country; thus 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.

Living In Australia 


Australia has a unique blend of native cultural tradition coupled with newer influences from cultures across the globe. In fact, 25% of Australia’s population of 25 million were born overseas. This mix of personalities and cultures has unified its people under shared love of country.

This rich cultural diversity is represented in Australia’s vibrant art scene which its developments in visual and performing arts are passionately followed by many.  

Australia has a notoriously passionate sporting culture where a majority of Australians avidly watch and play sports. In fact over 60% people aged 15 and older participate in sports and exercise at least once a week.

Australia is one of the most diverse landmasses on the planet with many different climates ranging from tropics, deserts, and snowy mountains.

Even if you live in the city, you and your family will have beautiful beaches, inland lakes and national parks of all different terrains, as well as many other recreational activities right on your doorstep.


After registration, a Doctor must apply for a temporary visa for his/herself and for any accompanying and eligible dependents. 

For all Doctors we use the  Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482)

The Skilled 482 Visa provides the Doctor up to 4 years (dependent on the length of their job offer). It can be renewed multiple times, for up to 4 years each time while permitting a partner or dependents to travel, live and work in Australia together for the same duration.

Language Requirements 

All Doctors must satisfy the requirements of the Medical Board of Australia’s English Language Policy.

If English is not the Doctors first language or they did not tertiary education in an English speaking country, they need to pass the Academic Module of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 

The Occupational English Test (OET) is another testing option which provides an assessment of language skills of healthcare professionals aiming to work in an English-speaking country.


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

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

Tax Rates (Current Australian Tax year 2020-21)

Earning bracketsPercentage $AUD
$18,201-$45,00019 cents for each $1 over $18,200
$45,001-$120,000$5,092 plus 32.5 cents for each $1 over $45,000
$120,001-$180,000$29,467 plus 37 cents for each $1 over $120,000
$180,001 +$51,667 plus 45 cents for each $1 over $180,000

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% of total salary
  • Specialists are also likely to receive a yearly CME allowance as well as travel and accommodation allowances.


There are a wide range of housing options in Australian cities ranging from sleek high-rise apartments 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.

Rental Rates in Australia (needs updating/reference)

Average weekly rate for 3 person bedroom rental property ($AUD) 

  • Hobart: $310
  • Adelaide: $350
  • Melbourne: $375
  • Brisbane: $400
  • Canberra: $460
  • Perth: $480
  • Sydney: $500
  • Darwin: $700


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

There are three one week vacation periods throughout the year along with a longer 6 week Christmas break (equivalent to UK summer holidays).

Transferring a UK Pension

If you’re thinking of making the move to Australia more permanent, 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. For more detailed information, visit Australia Migration’s website, or the Australian Taxation office.