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International Recruitment Strategy (IRS)

What it does

The aim of the IRS is to increase the number of appropriately qualified Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) providing Medicare services in Districts of Workforce Shortage (DWS) across Australia.

Under this strategy, employers and OTDs will be provided support and assistance in the recruitment process.
The IRS is administered by Rural Health Workforce Australia (RHWA) and delivered by Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs) in each state and the Northern Territory.

RWAs coordinate and help prospective OTDs through the various steps and processes they need to follow to gain registration and work in Australia.

Recruitment is mainly to fill job vacancies in regional and remote locations.


An eligible vacancy is an available medical position or employment opportunity for a general practitioner or other medical specialist in a DWS where the position has a minimum Medicare billing component.

Available positions in the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Aboriginal Medical Services are also classified as eligible vacancies.

OTDs can only fill an eligible vacancy under this strategy if:
  • they did not obtain their primary medical qualification in Australia;
  • they have not worked in the Australian medical workforce within the last 12 months; and
  • their skills and experience meet the requirements of the position.
Both temporary and permanent resident doctors are eligible. Usual immigration and medical registration requirements apply.

Want more info?

Rural Health Workforce Australia
Call (03) 9860 4700
Go to RHWA website>
Contact the Rural Workforce Agency in your state or territory:
Northern TerritoryNT Medicare Local(08) 8950 4800
QueenslandHealth Workforce Queensland(07) 3105 7800
WARural Health West(08) 6389 4500
SARural Doctors Workforce Agency(08) 8234 8277
NSWRural Doctors Network(02) 4924 8000
VictoriaRural Workforce Agency Victoria(03) 9349 7800
TasmaniaHealth Recruitment Plus(03) 6334 2355