As many of you could imagine, there are quite varying processing times for Medicare provider numbers for GPs. The main factor is whether or not a GP needs a 19AB exemption, like DWS.
- Local unrestricted GPs will find it usually only takes a 4-10 days to get a new provider number for a new location.
- Restricted GPs (those who have come from overseas and been registered in Australia less than 10 years) will find it takes anywhere from 4-7 weeks to be approved for an initial or additional provider number. Subsequent locations, can still take 4-6 weeks to be processed as well. The main difference is that the application is passed from Medicare to the Department of Health where the 19AB exemption is granted or denied. This part of the process can take up to 28 days – hence it can be a lengthy process.
During the early months of the New Year between January and March, we have found processing times have been slightly longer due to workflow increases at Medicare and the Department of Health.
When recruiting GPs from the UK to Australia we will always warn them that for their first 4-6 weeks in Australia they won’t be able to work, while they wait for their provider number. There can sometimes be exceptions to this rule, if you are happy to visit Australia to finalise your paperwork prior to your move.
For more information on Medicare provider numbers please contact Alecto on 1800 604 332 for a confidential discussion