I’m a British doctor ED moving to Western Australia to do Locum Doctor Job with Blugibbon.
The first thing you need to look after, when you want to do a Locum Doctor Job across Australia, is your visa. For me it was the 482 Temporary skills shortage visa. This was all sorted out by Blugibbon’s legal team. They pretty much did the entire paperwork process for me. This included organising an UK based criminal history check (with ACRO). But one important thing to note is that before this type of visa can be processed you need to make sure you have AHPRA registration accepted.
I would say this was the hardest part to get sorted as there is a fair amount of paperwork required and it’s not amazingly clear which boxes to tick. I completed the AGEN-30 application for general registration. The good part was, that once I had submitted my application it only took 1 week (rather than the potential 8 week period) for it all to be accepted. To complete this application you also need:
a. To register with the AMC (Australian Medical Council) who verify your degree . I had already done this process back in 2015 so didn’t have to repeat it. You need certified copies of degree certificates for this.
b. International criminal history check (not the same as for the visa!). AHPRA
have a list of companies to use (I used Fit2Work).
c. Certified copy of passport. They want very specific wording as per AHPRA website. I got caught out by this and had to go back to the notary public so make sure you follow this guidance
d. Request a Certificate of Good Standing from GMC (or your current medical body) to be sent directly to AHPRA
Part of your visa application requires you to have a medical check done at one of their approved centres. Basically a quick examination, blood test and CXR.
Once this was all submitted my visa came through pretty quickly.
Again Blugibbon’s legal team lodged this for me and it came through relatively quickly. Once I had this it was time to book a flight!
Book a flight
Normally a relatively straight forward process, it felt pretty stressful due to limited flights at much higher prices. I spoke to a few travel agents but ended up booking directly with the airline myself. Initially Singapore airlines but this flight was cancelled due to the UK travel ban at the time – I got a full refund. I managed to get a last minute flight with Emirates – paying a lot more than usual but worth it to get out here! I think importantly you should land in the Australian state you are going to be based in rather than transiting through another Australian city due to the ever changing border restrictions in Australia and the risk of having to do 2 quarantines!
I got out here just before this rule was implemented but Australia now requires a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours before travel.
Australian travel declaration
I had to complete this declaration 3-7 days before flying, via the government website. For WA only: G2G app – download and register your arrival anytime before flying.
You need to have copies saved on your phone showing your Visa, travel exemption, travel
declaration & G2G pass.
This means there is zero choice about where you stay and you don’t find out until you have landed and collected your luggage. I had visions of requesting a room with a balcony and bath tub but as I’ve heard all the rooms are of a similar standard with no special features.
Last step before my new Locum Doctor Job with Blugibbon!
On arrival to Perth there was a quick temperature check in the airport but otherwise no Covid-19 testing. Once luggage had been collected everyone from the flight queued up and we had to
identify ourselves with the local police before sitting on an arrangement of plastic garden chairs
to await the buses to the hotel. This whole part of the journey seemed to take forever as people
are loaded along with their luggage one by one onto one of four buses before they all leave the
airport together. You are escorted by police cars to the hotel where once again one by one
people and their luggage are unloaded.
The hotel check-in was very swift, they ask for any dietary requirements and then you head up
to your room. Once in there – that’s it no leaving for 14 days. You get a Covid-19 test on day 2 and
day 12 but other than that no face to face visits from anyone!
My experience of 14 days Quarantine
I was a bit nervous about this part having never spent much time alone but I have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily the time has passed. My room was pretty decent, has a small fridge and kettle and a good bit of space to set up a yoga mat and the bike trainer – kindly dropped off by my friends out here.
I had heard about various Facebook groups or websites where you can rent gym equipment / bike trainers for your quarantine too.
The hotel food has had its highs and lows, there wasn’t a choice but most meals were edible (!).
What’s great is that you can do an online food shop to be delivered as well as ordering Uber eats, etc. Friends and family can drop off food / drinks for you anytime of day – I have to say having some proper Ozzie coffee delivered was a life saver!
The one real downside to the hotel was that the WIFI was appalling. The only time I could get it
to work was at 2am (the perks of jet lag!) – so I ended up getting a pay as you go sim dropped
off and using this for data – expensive but worth it.
So now on my final day of quarantine I am sat here feeling unbelievably excited to get out into
the Perth sunshine! The whole process may seem daunting but looking out at the blue skies and picturing the Covid-19 free life that it is going on outside these walls I can guarantee that it will be worth it once you are here! Ready to start a new life and do Locum Doctor job all over Australia.