If you are on the moratorium, you need to know about these changes

14 May 2019 | Australian GPs | 6 minutes read

If you are on the moratorium, you need to know about these changes

For any overseas GPs on the 10 year moratorium (restricted to working in DWS locations), the landscape has changed considerably in the last two months.

Here are some FAQs for any GPs that have not yet completed their 10 year moratorium:

Can I move to a new employer if I am already in Australia on a 457 or 482 visa?

  • While you are on a temporary visa you can only move to a practice that is able to get a Health Workforce Certificate, and has DWS (or other 19AB exemption). At this stage it seems most practices in metropolitan areas (including DWS areas) are not able to get certificates. However, there are still some practices waiting for a response to their application, so there may be a few exceptions. If you want to move jobs it is highly likely you will need to consider regional or rural areas – or stay in a practice owned by your current visa sponsor. These changes came in on the 11th of March as part of the “Visa’s for GPs initiative”.
  • Once the DWS system changes (see details below) it is likely to become harder again to move jobs. So if you are unhappy in your current position, and hold a temporary visa we strongly recommend you move sooner rather than later. Contact us at info@alecto.com.au to registrar your interest for any metro locations that are suitable for both 19AB exemptions and are able to get a Health Workforce Certificate. One example of a metro based GP job we currently have available is located in Currans Hills. If you are interested in this position, apply as soon as possible as it won’t last. Find more info here

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I already have permanent residency, so will I be able to move to another practice?

  • If you are already on a permanent residency visa, there shouldn’t be any restrictions on your ability to move. You should be able to move to another practice as long as you can get a 19AB exemption.
  • If you are a citizen there shouldn’t be any restrictions on your ability to move.

Many of my GP friends were able to get permanent residency visas easily. Is this still possible?

  • If your friends are under the age of 40, they most likely were successful in obtaining a 189 PR visa. This pathway requires you to attain a required number of points based on your current skills.
  • Unfortunately, the requirements for this visa has been increased and you will now require significantly more points. More importantly, there are almost no 189 visas being granted for any professionals since April 2019. This may change in the new financial year, but there is no further information available about the future of this visa option. So even though some recruiters are recommending this option as a ‘work around’ for the Workforce Certificate, they are probably not aware that this option is not readily available at present.

I have heard that a number of organisations have been able to get Health Workforce Certificates recently in metropolitan areas?

  • We have heard that too and have investigated some of these situations quite closely. In almost every case where a Workforce Certificate has been granted in a metropolitan area it is under a ‘grandfathered arrangement’. This means that the applicant was able to prove that a contract had been signed before 11 March when the new rules were introduced.

I have been told that my new employer will be able to get a Health Workforce Certificate for me if I accept their job. What should I do?

  • We suggest that you request a copy of the Health Workforce Certificate before resigning from your current job. Make sure that the certificate is for the exact location you are planning to work and that it is not more than 3 months old.

Which geographical areas are currently able to get Health Workforce Certificates?

  • There are no criteria for where you are likely to get a Certificate. We have tried through various means to get information, but everything is done on a case-by-case basis.
  • Having said that, it appears that various new policies are designed to require that you work in a MMM2-7 area. If you want to check MMM zones, go to the Doctor Connect map and select ‘Search Maps’ and then select ‘Modified Monash Model’.
  • DWS status does not make is easier to get a Health Workforce Certificate.

What if I am granted a visa or a 19AB exemption and the rules change again?

It is highly unlikely that you will be affected. Our experience over the years has been that an exemption or visa will never be withdrawn once it has been granted. So if there are current rules that work to your advantage, act fast and you will be assessed under the current rules.

What changes have occurred at the RACGP?

When will the DWS map be updated next?

  • The Government has delayed the review of the DWS until July (instead of February) and there are strong indications that they are developing a new system that will significantly change the DWS system and once again force GPs into regional and rural areas. At this time we have no further information about the upcoming changes – but we will be in contact as more information comes to light.In summary, a number of policy changes have been designed to ensure that it is very difficult for overseas trained GPs that want to move jobs, and stay in a metropolitan area.

What should I do if I think these changes might affect me?

In summary, if you want to move jobs you need to move quickly!

If you are a temporary resident and want to move jobs before DWS changes, please contact us and we will let you know as good locations come up that are able to get Health Workforce Certificates.
If you are a permanent resident and want to move jobs before DWS changes, there are a lot more options – please contact us for details.

Most importantly – get good advice and check it with reliable sources. Every day we have enquires from GPs that have heard things from various online groups/platforms – and a lot of it is not accurate. The team at Alecto Australia is available to guide you and we will be able to show you reliable sources of information that we are using as reference points.

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