Rural Health Workforce Australia is the peak body for the state and territory Rural Workforce Agencies. Our not-for-profit Network attracts, recruits and supports health professionals for rural and remote communities.

making healthcare accessible

5 Year Overseas Trained Doctor Scheme

The 5 Year Overseas Trained Doctor Scheme was developed to address long-term rural medical workforce shortages.

It allows a reduction in the 10 Year Moratorium for Overseas Trained Doctors, encouraging them to work in remote or difficult-to-recruit locations.

By opting to work in an eligible location, an Overseas Trained Doctor can reduce the 10 Year Moratorium to 5 years (in some very remote locations, the requirement may be as little as 3 years).

At the end of this period - and subject to meeting scheme requirements - they will be eligible for an unrestricted Medicare provider number.

Overseas Trained Doctors wishing to apply for this scheme need to be formally assessed by one of the Rural Workforce Agencies, which will provide advice about eligible locations in their state.

Once accepted, the Overseas Trained Doctor is required to achieve Fellowship of either the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

Support can be obtained through the Additional Assistance Scheme (or Fellowship exam support program). The doctor must also become a permanent resident or an Australian citizen.

For further details, contact one of the State or Territory Rural Workforce Agencies. You can also refer to the scheme guidelines below.