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australian medical organisations
Australian medical organisations overseas GPs should know

Overseas GPs wanting to live and work in Australia should familiarise themselves with the most important Australian medical organisations.

Australia has one of the most envied health systems in the world.

But it pays for overseas GPs to do their research in order to successfully navigate it.

That starts with the process of applying to work in Australia and continues all the way through to when you are on the ground, working as a GP in your new home land.

These are the most biggest and most influential Australian medical organisations you should know about before setting sail down under.


AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) was established in 2010 and is a statutory authority that works in tandem with national medical boards responsible for the registration and accreditation of health professionals in Australia.

It was created to administer the “National Scheme” – a framework for the regulation of 16 health professions in Australia.

AHPRA has offices in every state and territory.

GPs must be registered with AHPRA before they can work in Australia.

It has the power to de-register doctors, prohibiting from working in their field anywhere in Australia.

Medical Board of Australia

The Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA are closely linked. 

The MBA specifically registers medical practitioners and students.

Its purpose is to ensure Australia’s doctors are suitably trained, qualified and safe to practise.

It develops standards, codes and guidelines for the medical profession, investigates complaints against medical practitioners and where necessary, refers serious matters to tribunal hearings.

Importantly, it also assesses international graduates who apply to practise in Australia while overseeing accreditation standards and study courses.

It is based in Melbourne but delegates powers to local boards in every state and territory.

Australian Medical Council

The Australian Medical Council was established in 1985 and is basically the industry watchdog.

Its purpose is to ensure the standards of education, training and assessment in the medical profession promote and protect the health of the Australian community.

As part of that mantra, it assesses International Medical Graduates (IMGs) wanting to practise medicine in Australia.

It also assesses authorities in other countries to ensure they meet standards to be accepted as a competent authority.

Australian Medical Association

Formed in 1962, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) is one of the oldest Australian medical organisations.

It is membership-based and acts as the peak professional body for doctors in Australia.

It promotes and protects the interests of doctors and the healthcare needs of patients and communities.

The AMA also works with governments to develop health policies in the best interest of doctors, their patients and the community.


The RACGP (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) and the ACRRM (Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine) are organisations accredited by the Australian Medical Council to train GP registrars seeking fellowships in general practice.

Their chief difference is that the ACRRM focusses exclusively on rural and remote medicine.

The two colleges also run programs of differing lengths and they also recognise prior experience differently.

The RACGP has a general practice experience pathway and offers a three-year course.

The ACRRM has an independent pathway and offers a four-year course which includes one year of advanced skills .

Both colleges have both urban and rural members and you can be a member of both concurrently.


Medicare is Australia’s national health insurance scheme.

It guarantees Australians access to a wide range of health and hospital services either free of charge or at a subsidised cost.

It also offers reciprocal rights to visitors from a number of countries.

Health practitioners working in Australia must complete approved education standards and meet recognition requirements to register for Medicare.

This allows them to bill under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

Find more information about accessing Medicare here.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is an Australian government scheme that subsidises the cost of medicines for Australians.

Health practitioners need to register for a PBS prescriber number to allow them to prescribe medicines under the PBS.

Local Health Networks

Each Australian state and territory is divided into a number of local or primary health networks.

Generally speaking, these networks are responsible for:

  • managing the safe and efficient delivery of quality local health services
  • consulting with health professionals and community members about the provision of health services
  • Cooperating with other health service providers for the future planning of health services
  • Maintaining land, building and assets controlled by health departments

Healthcare Recruitment Agencies

These agencies are set up to facilitate the acquisition of overseas doctors for Australian medical practices.

They basically play matchmaker for overseas doctors, introducing them to suitable local clinics.

Contact Health Recruitment Australia today

Health Recruitment Australia (HRA) is a dedicated recruitment agency that specialises in connecting overseas doctors of all ages with clinics who desperately need GPs in Australia.

There are multiple opportunities available for doctors interested in making the move down under to take advantage of all the great aspects of living and working in Australia.

HRA will work closely with you to find the right city, region and practice for you to begin your great Australian dream.

We’ll answer all of your questions, taking the stress out of your big move to ensure it is as pain-free as possible.

And we’ll take care of that mountain of paperwork for you so you can begin your Aussie adventure in record time.

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!