Many clinics rely on DWS/DPA GP job replacement exemptions to ensure a continuous workforce however these exemptions are being rejected by the Department of Health more than ever. We know that the political landscape is against overseas trained doctors however there seems to have been new rules implemented around replacement exemptions that did not exist previously.
Over the past few weeks, clinics and recruiters have noticed that replacement exemptions have been rejected based on the following grounds:
Continuous billings of the departing GP
A GP may have left your clinic 11 months ago however they last continuously billed more than 12 months ago. We are currently seeking clarification around the definition of continuous billing.
Previously we are aware of clinics asking departed GPs to come back to the clinic and complete a session to reactivate a provider number and then using this for a replacement. We believe this has been used too many times and was flagged by the Department. Therefore, this loophole has now been closed.
This may also pose an issue if a doctor cuts down the hours in their GP job prior to leaving the clinic and signing over their provider number. We will provide an update once the definition of continuous billing has been confirmed.
Service levels in your area
If your GP was only working one day per week prior to leaving your clinic, this may be deemed as too little a contribution to the service levels in the area to be replaced. We are unsure on the level that is deemed appropriate to be replaced and are seeking clarification of this.
Over the past 6 months, prior to the above changes, replacement exemptions were often being rejected due to documentation not being perfect. Whether this be a word out of place or for no logical reason at all, replacement exemptions often needed to be appeal to be approved.
It is therefore essential that you ensure all documentation from the departed GP is perfect and in line with the requirements for this exemption.
Alecto Australia will provide an update on the above information once it has been confirmed. If you have any questions in the meantime or need help with an application, please feel free to contact our Registration Manager, Megan Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org