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Australian healthcare
Counting the cost of relocating to Australia

Living and working down under sounds like a dream – but it’s important to ensure the cost of relocating to Australia doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

Forewarned is forearmed.

It’s vitally important to do all your sums in advance so you know you can afford the move and don’t bring an unseen financial burden upon yourself and your family.

So here is a checklist of some of the key costs you’ll need to consider when planning on relocating to Australia.

Visa application fees

Visa application fees vary depending on the type of visa and the date your application is received.

But they form a significant part of the cost of relocating.

You can apply for a temporary or permanent visa.

There is also a temporary skills shortage and regional provision visa which doctors may apply for.

The total cost will rise if you have family members accompanying you.

Typically, visa application fees look like this:

General skilled migration visas (491, 189 and 190) – $4640

Partner – $2320

Children over 18 years – $2320

Children under 18 years – $1160

Other fees associated with visa application

There are a range of other fees associated with your visa application to ensure you are qualified and a suitable candidate to be relocating to Australia.

These include:

Skills assessment fee – variable fee payable directly to the relevant authority.

English test – Approx $350 payable to the testing centre. You may need to sit this even if English is your first language.

Medical examination – Approx $400 per adult and $350 per child.

Police check – variable fee payable to relevant authority where you have lived for a minimum 12 months.

Translation of documents (if necessary) – variable fee payable to the translator or certifier of your documents.

Medical registration costs

AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency) requires registration for you to work as a GP in Australia.

The application fee for provisional registration for IMGs is $698.

The full list of fees can be viewed here.

Consider too any additional costs related to providing required documentation.

Shipping costs

The cost of moving your belongings to Australia will depend largely on how much you are taking.

Be sure to get at least three quotes from international moving companies as charges can vary greatly.

Check that insurance is included in the quote and if it is not, be prepared to take it out separately in the event of your belongings being damaged or lost.

Depending on how much you are moving, you could expect to pay between $5000-$15,000 to move from the UK to Australia.

Consider the benefits of buying new in Australia instead of shipping costs.

Temporary accomodation

Temporary accomodation is likely your starting point, as you aim to find your feet in your new country, city and region.

Short term accomodation can be expensive and add significantly to the cost of relocating.

You can start with Airbnb and other short term rental sites, and discuss any opportunities or connections that your new medical practice might have.

When you’re ready to turn your attention to the longer term rental market, bear in mind that Australia is currently experiencing a rental shortage pushing prices even further north.

While those charges vary significantly between cities, the average cost of renting a house or unit in Australia has climbed to $600 per week.

The bigger problem is securing a rental property when demand is exceeding supply.

You’ll also need to be happy to stay in your rental for 12 months as least, as it is hard to find a landlord prepared to rent you a property for fewer than 12 months.

Permanent accomodation

The quicker you can secure permanent accomodation and buy a property, the better off you will be.

But the housing market in Australia is just as buoyant as the rental market.

Median house prices vary much more from city to city than rental prices.

In Sydney, the median house price is $1,120,000 while all other capitals bar Darwin sit between $630,000 and $780,000.

Darwin’s median house price is $500,000 with many cheaper properties available in rural areas.

Professional indemnity insurance

Like all kinds of insurance, the cost of protecting yourself with professional indemnity insurance varies greatly, depending on the insurer and your own unique circumstances.

As a rough guide, you can expect to pay anywhere between $5000-$10,000 per annum working as a GP. 

Other establishment costs

Business expenses – Because you will most likely set up as an independent practitioner, you will be your own business working within a clinic. That means you’ll may have business and accounting setup costs including applying for an Australian Business Number, Tax File Number, opening business banking accounts, set up and management of your own superannuation and potentially other expenses.

Transportation expenses – It pays to choose where you live and work wisely. Do your research and consider your need for a vehicle and the availability of public transport.

Education expenses – If you have children, you’ll also want to be near a good school and consider the availability of public transport for them. Private school fees in Australia may cost up to $40,000 per year. While public schools generally charge a nominal fee of up to $1000, there are additional fees for students from families on temporary visas.

Health insurance – Private health insurance in Australia costs around $400 per month for a family. If you don’t take it up, you may be charged a Medicare levy surcharge of as much as 1.5% on your taxable income.

Professional memberships – It is wise to reserve some funds to join professional associations in your new homeland. This will assist you with networking and allow you to attend conferences and other events within the Australian medical community.

What financial incentives are on offer?

The cost of relocating to Australia can be hefty but you may be eligible for some relief.

Some medical practices incentivise the process by covering some of the initial setup costs.

Before making any decisions about migrating, it is wise to garner advice from professionals including your recruiter and an immigration expert who specialise in healthcare to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the costs involved.

Be aware too that those costs will fluctuate depending on where in Australia you are living.

You’ll also want to consider your tax obligations in Australia.

It sounds like a lot to think about.

But one of the best decisions you can make is to talk with a recruitment agency that specialises in matching doctors of all ages with the right clinics in Australia.

That’s precisely the role that Health Recruitment Australia plays!

HRA can do the heavy lifting for you, finding you the right city, area and practice to work in, as well as help with all that annoying paperwork.

A significant GP shortage in Australia has opened up multiple opportunities for doctors interested in making the move.

Why not start with an informal, no-obligation discussion with the experienced team at Health Recruitment Australia? Contact us.

Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!


Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!