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5 Year Overseas Trained Doctor (OTD) Scheme

What it does

The scheme offers reductions to the 10-year moratorium to overseas trained doctors (OTDs) who are prepared to work in locations which are the most difficult to recruit to.

The 10-year moratorium applies to all OTDs and Foreign Graduates of Accredited Medical Schools (FGAMS) and restricts access to Medicare provider numbers under section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973.

Although titled the 5 Year OTD Scheme, 3 graded categories establish the time requirement:
  • Category A covers locations which experience exceptional difficulties recruiting and retaining GPs. Doctors working in Category A locations can reduce the moratorium from 10 to 3 years.
  • Category B covers specific communities meeting specified criteria. Doctors in this category can reduce the moratorium from 10 to 4 years.
  • Category C covers other locations (RRMA 4-7) and areas within the parameters set by the State or Territory health department. Doctors in Category C must serve 5 years.

OTDs and FGAMS who are restricted under section 19AB may be eligible to apply. OTDs wishing to participate must:
  • have appropriate medical registration
  • provide evidence of their ability to be assessed for Fellowship of the RACGP or ACRRM within the time limit of the scheme
  • intend to seek or currently possess Australian permanent residency and/or Australian citizenship
  • be able to provide at least 7 sessions per week as part of the placement.

What it achieves

The scheme:
  • provides incentives to attract appropriately qualified and experienced OTDs and FGAMS to overcome current and future community needs for GPs in rural and remote Australia
  • increases the supply of appropriately qualified OTDs and FGAMS in rural and remote Australia
  • enhances the professional development, skills and knowledge of OTDs and FGAMS in Australia
  • brings a degree of stability to the provision of GP services in rural and remote communities.

Want more info?

Rural Health Workforce Australia
Call (03) 9860 4700
or Go to RHWA website>
or Contact the Rural Workforce Agency in your state or territory:

Northern Territory
NT Medicare Local: (08) 8950 4800
Health Workforce Qld: (07) 3105 7800
Rural Health West: (08) 6389 4500
Rural Doctors Workforce Agency: (08) 8234 8277
NSW Rural Doctors Network: (02) 4924 8000
Rural Workforce Agency Victoria: (03) 9349 7800
Health Recruitment Plus Tasmania: (03) 6334 2355