Good news – Visas for GPs program will end (HWCs will no longer be required)
For General Practitioners there will no longer be the requirement to apply for a Health Workforce Certificate (HWC) when applying for a visa in Australia or when changing visa sponsors. In our view the program has contributed to the shortage of GPs within Australia but more importantly it held many doctors’ hostage to their practice locations when they were unable to be granted permanent residency.
This is good news for GPs who hold FRACGP, but still need visa sponsorship because they:
- Can be sponsored by practices that are not in DPA locations (for visa purposes) and access other 19AB exemptions for their 10 year moratorium
- No longer need to go through the process of applying for a Health Workforce Certificate
There are still restrictions in place to the locations where Overseas Trained Doctors can work and these doctors will still require a 19AB exemption to access Medicare funding. The lengthy RACGP PEP Specialist Stream process has also not changed at this point in time.
However, we are grateful that the government has seen reason when it comes to this program and the requirement to apply for Health Workforce Certificates. General Practitioners are the only occupation that has been forced to meet a requirement such as this one when immigrating to our country.
Hopefully this is the first of many positive developments we can expect in the coming months with the long awaited decisions on the outcomes of the Kruk Report.
Keep an eye on Alecto’s blog page and social media pages for news of further developments.