BREXIT: a good reason for UK GPs to consider working in Australia

26 February 2018 | UK/Ireland GPs | 3 minutes read

BREXIT: a good reason for UK GPs to consider working in Australia


For those EEA GPs working in the UK who feel disenfranchised by Brexit, and for GP UK nationals reeling at the prospect of an increased workload and further stresses in a depleted NHS, Australia’s arms are open wide!

Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, a British Medical Association (BMA) survey revealed that 45% of GPs from the European Economic Area who work in the UK are considering leaving the UK, and 39% have already made plans to do so.  The consequences for patient care are serious:  the RCGP estimates that more than 2000 GPs providing care to 3.5 million patients could be lost to the NHS.  Such an exodus will place increased pressure on GPs remaining in the UK, further lowering morale and leading to even more GPs leaving.

Australia has a shortage of GPs in certain areas which is estimated to last another two decades, and to fill the gap, has been looking to UK trained GPs for whom there is considerable respect and admiration.  The Australian authorities, whilst maintaining rigorous standards and checks, have worked together to streamline the process of bringing such GPs into the country.  For a UK trained GP with MRCGP by examination, the process is relatively straightforward.

It can take as little as 6 months for a UK trained GP with MRCGP to complete registration in Australia. The process is a relatively simple one as The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) currently recognises the MRCGP as ‘equivalent’ to the Australia Fellowship.

As there is a shortage of GPs in Australia, GPs are included on the Department for Immigration’s skills shortage list and are therefore eligible for temporary working visas.  These visas provide generous privileges, last for 4 years, can be indefinitely renewed, and may be converted to Permanent Residency visas subject to various criteria.  The temporary visa is quick to obtain once registration has been completed, often taking as little as two weeks to be granted.

Whilst there are restrictions on where overseas trained GPs can work in Australia, there are plenty of jobs on the perimeters of the major urban areas, particularly in Perth and Queensland.

Once settled in Australia, UK trained GPs earn well – many earn around double their earnings in the UK.  And it gets even better as the cost of living is generally less than it is in the UK, and GPs get a better work/life balance!  GPs are appropriately rewarded for the skills they bring into the country.

We at Alecto have observed that GP practices in Australia are particularly keen to take on GPs from the UK.  Their training and commitment to ongoing professional development make them hot property in the GP job market.

If you would like to know more about the opportunities in Australia, call  our UK Based Consultant Raelene on 07808 704050 or email at

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