The Ultimate guide for locum doctor in Victoria

Working as a locum doctor in Victoria is quite different to NSW, if you are comparing the set up and structure of the public health service. If you have read our post on the ultimate guide to NSW, you will see why.

Locum doctor guide in Victoria


The differences here are evident.  There is a fair jovial camaraderie and competitive spirit between the states of NSW and Victoria, and between the main metropolitan cities of Melbourne and Sydney. This extends from sport, to weather and everything in between so health is no exception! You will probably know that Melbourne is the main city and state capital in Victoria.

A comprehensive guide to working as a GP or specialty locum in Victoria 

Most of the main teaching sites are in Melbourne and this is where you would be lucky to get a spot in med school and your qualifications if you were training here. As state governments are fairly influential in the health service and provision of those services within their geographic borders, it’s easy to see how this can be reflected in the opportunities available for short term roles for health workers in the frontline.

Perhaps there is a bit of territorial protection at play, but most of the locum doctors and roles are provided to Victorians. So here they train them up and keep them local! Training services and hospitals are not surprisingly of excellent standards. However it does seem evident that applications from doctors that are in Victoria are often prioritised over other candidates. That’s not to say that there aren’t opportunities here, but it does mean that many of the opportunities lie outside of the capital city. 

Locum GP doctor in Victoria

Rural location in Victoria

So whilst most of the doctors live in and around Melbourne, meaning it’s tough to get a role in the city. The upside appears to be that as there is much opportunity further afield for locums in Victoria.

Regional towns provide the mainstay of opportunity for locum work in Victoria, located anywhere from an hour outside of Melbourne (around 70km). And then further afield into the state. Regional towns in Victoria are beautiful and plentiful.

Many of which have a strong European feel, and were established during the late 1800s, around the gold rush mining era. An hour or two’s drive outside of Melbourne, you’ll find Shepparton, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Daylesford, Mildura – towns with populations of around 100,000-150,000.

Most of the time we can find urgent roles covering short term sick leave, shortages in the roster. Or bigger gaps such as due to people leaving and departments in urgent need for your skill sets! If you are looking for a smaller community. But not so remote and with a familiar feel or community network, a locum role in Victoria could be for you. Check out our locum locations for more of an insight into some of those towns.

Victoria’s public Health service is split into district health services and hospitals on a much more local level than in NSW. And so the result is a much more local approach to service delivery and serving the communities they represent. This can be refreshing if you are keen for a little more autonomy as an independent practitioner on that local level.  For example, Seymour Health is around 100km north inland from Melbourne, situated in the Lower Hume rural region. It has acute services offered via the hospital, residential aged care and allied and community health offerings network. 

Victoria Health Locum map

What to know about pay for locum doctors in Victoria

Pay is good at both specialist and non-specialty level. And your employer will pay for accommodation and travel (in the remote areas). As a rule, generally Victorians don’t like to fly people in from interstate. So if you’re already based in Victoria there’s a better chance of getting these opportunities.

As the system is not set up via a standardised approach such as in NSW Health, the locum agency are usually very flexible on how they pay the doctor. This means that you have flexibility on how you manage your accounting and remuneration.

Typically if it is paid by the agency, a completed agency timesheet is required for the shifts worked. Different to NSW Health, in the public system, the pay rates are usually inclusive of superannuation. So to be clear, the rates that are quoted will include the 10% that goes straight into a superannuation fund of your nomination. This is up to the agency to arrange payment, so of course at Blugibbon we can help you there!

And again, how you prefer to get paid whether via invoice and pay with PAYG. Or paid via Pty limited company and your personal business ABN. If you’re new to Australia, you’ll need to apply for an Australian Business Number. Which is a unique 11 digit number for you, used to identify businesses corporations and sole traders. You’ll need to use your ABN to interact with other businesses and government departments and agencies.

What types of jobs can be found in Victoria for locums?

With the majority of posts, as explained presenting in Victoria are outside of the major metropolitan city of Melbourne. This opens up a wealth of regional and more rural locations for you to explore. There are, as evidently all over Australia. Great opportunities in indigenous and aboriginal health, GP/emergency specialties such as VMO, GP anaesthetists and obstetricians. As well as private medical centre GP roles.

Indigenous and aboriginal health locum roles in Victoria

You can anticipate earning up to $1500-$1600 per day. Depending on your experience, the specific location, and the length of the locum contract. Indigenous and aboriginal health positions are extremely rewarding. Allowing you to provide and serve the people and communities of the first populations of Australia.

Locum GP Jobs in Indigenous & Aboriginal Health are something that Blugibbon is especially passionate about. Since starting out in 2013 a particular focus has been and still exists in recruiting and fulling jobs in remote medicine. Our network built over the years has delivered heaps of successful candidates Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) and Indigenous Health locum jobs in regional Victoria, and across the country.

Victoria State Government Health

The Victorian government is committed to helping improve the lives of our first nations people. And this is evident in their approach to Aboriginal affairs and their health goals. Outlined in Domain 4 ‘health and wellbeing; commitments are made to delivery improvements detailed in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023 (VAAF). Click on the link if you fancy reading a bit more. The framework is grounded in the voices, perspectives and priorities of the Victorian Aboriginal community.  

These kinds of roles have protected patient care as a focus of your contribution. Supported by practice set ups that typically include Practice Managers and administrative and reception staff and sometimes Registered Nurses. The extended multidisciplinary teams typically include Aboriginal Health Workers, Community Workers, Allied Health Services and Visiting Specialist Services. You would anticipate to have a fairly close working requirement with those staff in the aboriginal health work roles.

Locum GP ED & GP VMO Jobs

Locum requests can command from $2000-$4000 per day earnings, depending on urgency, shift length and location. If you’re in high demand, you can expect to get a sizable remuneration commensurate to the opportunity.

In Australia there has always been an obvious crossover between General Practice and Emergency Medicine. Due in part to the large geographical space the country occupies, and the distance between population dwellings. There is always a need in general health anywhere. But these two specialties work closely together in partnership, and no more so than in remote areas. Of course it goes without saying, the need for self-sufficiency in rural and remote areas is key.

A great hybrid role that covers both disciplines, across both emergency and general practice domains has evolved. This is a GP VMO (Visiting Medical Officers). And primarily covers family-medicine presentations such as in the day and being available on-call to deal. With any emergencies that present around the clock (if you’re on a shift of course!).

Some of these hybrid experts have gained their fellowship (FRACGP). And then made a more permanent crossover to upskill in emergency medicine. And base themselves largely in hospitals that require their unique skill set, these can also be called rural generalists.

For the CPD development element, it’s also worth noting the rural medicine specialist college ACRRM if rural (and remote) is where your current desires lie.

Locum GP Anaesthetist & GP Obstetrician Jobs

Outside of the metro centres when you are positioned in rural (or remote) Australia. Some areas will be less well equipped. And may not have the resources on hand that a densely populated city has frequently at its disposal.

Delivering a baby or preparing for surgery needs an expert. Sometimes known as GP Proceduralists, GP Anaesthetists and GP Obstetricians can play a vitally important role in less densely populated areas. 

GPs with a certificate in anaesthesia (JCCA) or GPs with an Advanced DRANZCOG certificate (obstetrics and gynaecology) are in huge demand across the country. Whilst these are most useful in those remote regions there can also be a need in rural areas. Although if you have this skillset you are more likely be interested in the excitement of a really remote area. And these are more likely to be found in a posting located in WA or perhaps Queensland. 

If this sounds like it’s for you, perhaps check out the Kimberleys in WA, the Darling Downs area of Queensland and rural New South Wales to name a few for more remote specialty options.

And don’t forget to check out our ultimate guides to working as a locum on each of these states before you decide!

Victoria Hospital Locums

Locum GP Private Medical Centre Jobs

Australia counts over 7000 health centres and clinics in Australia. There are endless options that will at some stage need locum GPs. Whether to cover staff leave, to fill vacancies for a specific role, to deal with particularly busy periods, or increasing patient demand. 

Generally a percentage of Medicare billing arrangement is agreed in these general GP roles at private centres. Or otherwise a guaranteed hourly rate from $130-$150 per hour.

Since covid last year hit, the movement of people has been prolific and potentially small towns and regions are servicing more people who have relocated from the city now that they can work from home, or to other locations.

This can be a major attraction or option for families with young children, with a less busy pace of life and a more local community approach to bigger city and urban living.  Victoria has a great public system set-up, a state filled with cultural optimism, and can support GP locums with well paid opportunities. Speak to Blugibbon today about your next option for locumming in Victoria state.