GP Satisfaction Survey – Australia

Health of the Nation and General Practice Workforce – Australia

The Royal College of GPs produce an annual General Practice workforce study and Health of the Nation report. The report reflects the current trends and issues impacting the future of Australian healthcare. We have summarised keys points below regarding the General practice workforce in Australia.

Medicare Billing

Australian general practices operate a billing system. Practices are defined as private, mixed or bulk billing. A private billing practice will charge their patients at the point of consultation, whereas bulk billing practices claim the cost of the treating their patients from Medicare. Mixed billing clinics do a combination of both.

Recent Medicare statistics show that 86.1% of general practice services in Australia are bulk billed. While this figure provides an indication of total bulk billed services in Australia, it does not represent the number of patients who are bulk billed. Patients may receive a number of services during a single visit to the GP, of which some may be privately billed. It was found that the proportion of patients who were fully bulk billed was actually much lower.

General Practice Workforce

There are 36,000 GPs practising in Australia across 6300 GP practices with the majority of GPs centered around the Eastern states. There are fewer GPs per patient in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

The Australian GP workforce is diverse in terms of gender, age and cultural background. Almost equal to the Australian population, 45% of GPs practising are female. In terms of age, 78% of GPs are between 35 – 64. Interestingly in 2015/2016 the number of GPs who gained their basic qualification at an overseas university represented a higher proportion of GPs who completed their qualifications in Australia or New Zealand. This is a trend which appears to continue.

GP Job Satisfaction and work-life balance

When GPs were asked to take everything relating to their role as a GP into consideration, almost 90% of GPs reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied in their role.

Work variety

More than 90% of GPs are satisfied or very satisfied with the variety in their work. Due to the varied nature of general practice and the range of patient health issues, GPs were asked how they spend most of their working day.

The majority of GPs reported that over 70% of their working day was providing direct patient care. 13% of their day was providing indirect patient care, 6% on management and administration and 9% classified as other. Interestingly GPs spent more time on each patient, with the average consultation time

Hours of work

Nearly 85% of GPs report being satisfied or very satisfied with their work hours. GP satisfaction with work hours remained high across various employment types (GP principal/ partner, associate, salaried employee, contracted employee), with at least 70% stating they are moderately or very satisfied overall. GPs working as Independent Contractors rather than GP Owners were the most satisfied (87%) among all employment types.

The maintenance of a good work–life balance varies depending on how many hours a GP works. GPs who work fewer than 40 hours a week have a more positive view of their work–life balance than those working 40 or more hours a week. Overall, 52% of GPs reported that they are able to maintain a good work–life balance and 60% of GPs believe that their workload is manageable

GP Salary

There is a positive relationship between overall job satisfaction and remuneration. GPs who indicate that they are very satisfied when earn more per hour than GPs who are very dissatisfied

GPs caring for patients in outer-regional and remote areas report being more satisfied with their remuneration than those in major cities.

The report does not indicate the actual or range of incomes produced by GPs in Australia. For a full time GP incomes tend to be in the region of $250 – $300K per annum with many GPs earning much more.  Please do get in touch with one of our team to discuss further.

Health conditions experienced by patients

It was found that 87.8% of the Australian population see their GP at least once per year and although patients can visit any GP surgery or any doctor, 78% of patients have a preferred GP. Most patients have a very positive view of visiting their GP. 75% report that their GP always listens carefully, shows respect and spends enough time with them.

Common health issues experienced by patients

Psychological issues (e.g. depression, mood disorders, anxiety) remain the most common health complaint managed by GPs. It was found that GPs with particular characteristics managed different health concerns e.g. younger and female GPs are more likely to provide family planning care. We talk to many GPs in Australia who explore personal clinical interests and build a patient base suited to their interest.

When looking at the health care issues causing the most concern for the future of the nation’s health, GPs cited mental health followed by obesity.

It was noted that most GPs look after patients with multiple health concerns, with almost 25% of patients in Australia experience two or more chronic health issues.

Further Reading

View the full report General Practice – Health of the Nation

Further Blog Posts

Find our more about a Day in the Life of a GP in Australia 

Our Top 10 Tips for GPs relocating to Australia

What do GPs earn in Australia

What Next

We are leading GP recruitment experts for doctors wishing to relocate to Australia or New Zealand. If you would like to discuss your circumstances further, we would be delighted to help. Please get in touch with one of our team.

Your New Zealand GP Visa questions answered

GP Visa Options for New Zealand

As a GP relocating to New Zealand, there are both temporary and permanent visa options open to you, so long as you meet the criteria. The occupation ‘General Practitioner’ is on New Zealand’s Long-Term Skill Shortage List which gives you allows you eligibility to apply for a visa.

To meet the required standard, you need to hold NZ registration within a relevant provisional general, general, provisional vocational or vocational scope of practice with the Medical Council of New Zealand. This is something we will advise on once we have helped you secure a GP job in New Zealand.

NZ Temporary Visa Applications

The Essential Skills Work Visa is the most commonly used visa type if you have been offered a job and you are planning on a temporary stay. You must have the necessary skills and experience and be registered accordingly. This visa will be granted for the length of your contract up to a maximum of 5 years. You will also be required to meet general requirements such as character and health criteria.

You will be able to support visa applications for your Partner and any dependent children. With this visa you can work for an employer who has offered you a full-time position deemed as 30 hours per week or more.

Will I need a Medical?

If you are planning on staying in New Zealand for longer than 12 months then you will be required to have a medical examination and chest x-ray. Children younger than 11 and pregnant women do not need a chest x-ray unless a special report is needed. All medicals and chest X-rays are required to be completed by a Panel Doctor. We will advise you further of this and recommend where to have your medical done if required.

Bringing Partners and Children to New Zealand

If you are applying for a New Zealand visa based on your relationship, you and your partner will need to meet certain criteria.

  • Your partnership needs to be genuine and stable.
  • You must be living with your partner.
  • You must meet health and character requirements.
  • You must have the support of your partner.

A marriage certificate is suitable as evidence of being in a committed relationship. If you do not have this then you will need to provide evidence of living together. We will advise directly on your current circumstances.

Your dependent children can apply to join you in New Zealand. Generally, dependency is shown to be up to the age of 19 and fully dependant on you financially.

NZ Permanent Resident Visa Applications

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa allows you to live, work and study indefinitely in New Zealand providing you are 55 years of age or under. Your partner and dependent children aged 24 years and under can be included in your residence application. This is a points-based application currently requiring 160 points or above.

Work to Residence Visa is a temporary visa for up to 30 months but will allow you to apply for residence status after 24 months if you have a permanent or long-term job offer and you meet the work, qualification, age, health and character requirements.

Essential Skills Work Visa would be an option if you have been offered a job and you are planning on a temporary stay only. You must have the necessary skills and experience and be registered accordingly. This visa can be approved for up to five years duration.

How we Help

Here at Transition Medical, we don’t just find you the GP job of your dreams, we also manage your paperwork from start to finish. We have a specialist team on hand to guide you through the registration paperwork and once complete our Immigration Advisor at the Emigration Group will advise on the most suitable visa for you and your family. And this is all free of charge!

For further information or to discuss your circumstances directly please get in touch with one of the team here at Transition Medical.

Further Reading

Read our Other Blog Posts

Find out what life is like for GPs in New Zealand

8 Reasons to move to New Zealand

Is there an age Limit for GPs in New Zealand



GP Moving to Australia | Applying for a Medicare Provider Number

Once you have had your GP visa approval and have arrived for your new life in Australia, you’ll be delighted that the hard work has been done and you can relax into your new surroundings.

Before you are able to start treating patients as a GP in Australia, you need to apply for a Medicare provider number.

Why do I need a Provider Number?

A Medicare Provider number allows you to attract Medicare rebates for your services and to treat private patients. As a GP you will be paid a percentage of the total amount billed by the practice for the patients you treat, therefore crucial you have a provider number in place to allow you to be paid.

Provider Numbers, Medicare and DWS

The Australian Government introduced Provider Number restrictions to try to address the areas of workforce shortage in Australia. From 1997, to be eligible to apply for a Provider Number, all doctors who have completed their Primary Medical Degree overseas are required to gain an exemption of the Health Insurance Act (Section 19ab) The most commonly used exemption of this act, is for the GP to work in a district of workforce shortage (DWS) defined by the Department of Health and Ageing.

One of the stipulations of Section 19ab require all overseas trained GP work in a DWS area for 10 years from the date of first registration with the Medical Board. This is commonly known as the ’10 year moratorium’

DWS are geographical areas, defined by the Department of Health Australia, in which the local population has less access to Medicare subsidised services compared with the national average.

Where can I work as a GP in Australia?

The DWS Doctor Connect map allows you to search specific locations to determine DWS eligibility. You can work in any area which has current DWS status. You do not have to stay with the same practice for the full 10 years, you can move between states and employers, as long as there is DWS in place.

Medicare statistics are reviewed on an ongoing basis and areas can gain or lose their DWS status. Once you have accepted a position and signed a contract, there is no problem if your area loses DWS.

How do I apply for a Provider Number?

This is the final piece of paperwork to complete once you are in Australia. Transition Medical have a Specialist Registration Consultant who will manage this paperwork for you and send of the relevant forms.

We assist every GP who has accepted a job through us with their medical registration and visa paperwork, providing expert guidance and advice throughout the process.

When will my Provider Number be approved?

Once your application has been submitted to Medicare it can take around 28 days for your approval to come through. During this time, you can be settling into life in Australia, finding longer term accommodation and completing your induction in the practice. Perhaps even squeezing in a little time out at the beach before it’s back to work.

We advise that you ensure you have enough funds to see you through this initial period before you start earning an income. If you have any questions or want to discuss your plans please get in touch with our team.

Find out more here in our further Blogs

Where can I work as a GP in Australia

A day in the Life of a GP in Australia

Want to know more about working in Australia?



The Australian Tax System for British GPs Working in Australia

If you’re considering applying for GP jobs in Australia, you’ll certainly need to think about the financial aspects of moving to Australia. You might want to think about the cost of living in Australia as well as the Australian tax system and how it affects your take-home pay. If you own property in the UK and plan to keep it, you might also want to know how Australia taxes any income earned for overseas properties.

Average GP Salary Australia

Average GP salaries in Australia are relatively good with most GPs earning between AUS$200,000 to $400,000. Most of our GPs have a higher wage in Australia than they did in the UK.

GPs in Australia  often earn a percentage of the billings rather than a fixed salary. This takes into account the number of patients they see, the complexity of the consultations and the number of hours worked. Our GPs have found that this payment system gives them more control over their take-home pay.

Paying Tax as a British GP Working in Australia

As a general practitioner, you can move to Australia on either a temporary or permanent work visa since medical occupations currently qualify under the long-term strategic skill list. Your visa and how long you intend to stay will impact whether you are an Australian resident for tax purposes. The vast majority of our GPs relocate on a Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa (TSS 482) and would be classed as an Australian resident for tax.

Australian residents must declare any income earned from anywhere in the world. However, can also take advantage of Australia’s tax-free threshold and tax offsets. Australian residents also typically receive a lower tax rate than foreign residents.

Australia’s Tax System: How to Pay Tax

Before you begin working as a GP in Australia, you’ll need to get a tax file number, also known as TFN. The Australian income year ends on June 30th and most people will need to file an annual tax return prior to this date. You’ll primarily be taxed on income and the amount you pay will depend on whether you’re an Australian or foreign resident.

Paying Tax in Australia as an Australian Resident

Australia residents are entitled to claim a tax-free threshold of AUS$18,200 per year. This means you’ll only be taxed on income over the minimum threshold. You’ll also need to pay the Medicare levy, roughly 2% of your income, which helps support the country’s healthcare. In general, Australian residents using a TFN typically pay lower tax rates than foreign residents.

If you’re an Australian resident but only have a temporary resident visa, most of your foreign income won’t be taxed while you’re living in Australia. However, Australia does collect tax on work you complete overseas, for example, hosting an overseas conference, while living in Australia. More information about foreign income exemptions for temporary residents is available here.

Paying Tax in Australia as a Foreign Resident

It’s relatively rare for British GPs working in Australia to be classed as a foreign resident. As long as you’re taking steps to make Australia your home and plan to live here for more than six months, you’ll be classed as an Australian resident for tax purposes. If you’re a foreign resident for tax purposes, you’ll need to declare and pay tax on any income earned in Australia including employment or rental income, Australian pensions, and capital gains. Read more about paying tax as a foreign resident here.

Australian Tax System: Paying Tax on Overseas Property

Sometimes when our GPs move to Australia, they still own property in the UK. If you rent or sell this property and are classed as an Australian resident, you’ll probably need to pay tax. Any income or capital gains from overseas property must be declared in your Australian tax return. You may be able to claim a foreign income tax offset if you’ve already paid tax on income or capital gains in another country.

Australia’s Tax System: Overseas Pensions & Annuities

As an Australian resident, you’ll also need to pay tax on any UK pensions in payment or annuities. In some cases, you can choose to deduct and have some of your annual pension or annuity income personal contributions returned to you (also known as undeducted purchase price). If your pension or annuity has been taxed in the UK and Australia, you might be able to claim a foreign income tax offset on your Australian tax returns.

More information about overseas pensions and annuities is available here.

Paying Tax in Australia on Offshore Bank Accounts

If you decide to keep your UK bank account, you’ll need to report any interest or other income earned in your Australian tax income. Failing to declare this information could lead to financial penalties.

Working as a GP in Australia

Once you’ve secured a work visa and arrived in Australia, you need to apply for a TFN and complete a tax file number declaration. This declaration will help your employer determines whether you’ll pay tax as an Australian or foreign resident and how much tax to withhold from your salary.

You must provide the declaration to your employer within 28 days of starting your GP job or you’ll need to pay the higher tax rate. After completing this initial paperwork, your employer will deduct taxes and submit them to the government.

Returning to the UK

While most of our GPs choose to make Australia their home for life, some decide to return to the UK. When you leave Australia, you’ll still need to submit a tax return. If you’re departing before the end of the tax year and don’t plan to return, you can lodge an Australian tax return early.

Ready to Move to Australia?

View our excellent GP job vacancies located throughout Australia or speak to one of our specialist recruitment professionals. Transition Medical is here to support you throughout every stage of your move from finding outstanding opportunities, securing Australian work visas and getting settled in your new home. Read our testimonies to learn about other GPs that we’ve helped make the move.

Other Relevant Blogs

Moving Your Family Pet to Australia or New Zealand from UK

As anyone with a family pet knows, leaving them behind simply isn’t an option. Yet the process of moving your pet to Australia or New Zealand can be complicated. You’ll need to find a pet transportation company, ensure your pet meets the essential criteria and has the right vaccinations, apply for an import permit, and send your pet through quarantine. With so much to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first.

Our guide will explain the basics, connect you with the right resources and help you get started on the process of moving your pet to New Zealand or Australia.

Pet Import Requirements: Moving to New Zealand or Australia with a Dog or Cat

New Zealand and Australia are considered rabies-free countries, which means that there are strict requirements in place to ensure they stay that way. Thankfully, the United Kingdom qualifies as a category 3 country (an approved country where rabies is absent or well-controlled), which means that it’s relatively easier to relocate a pet from the UK.

In addition to being vaccinated against rabies, dogs must also:

  • Be over 9 months old (New Zealand only)
  • Not a hybrid
  • Not predominantly or wholly belonged to a banned breed (Brazilian fila, dogo Argentino, Japanese tosa, perro de presa Canario, or American pit bull terrier)
  • Not pregnant or less than 42 days pregnant (New Zealand) or less than 30 days pregnant (Australia)

You can find out more about pet import requirements for New Zealand here or pet import requirements for Australia here.

Finding a Pet Exporter for Pet Relocation to Australia or New Zealand

While it’s possible to move your pet to Australia or New Zealand without the assistance of a pet exporter, hiring a company to tackle all the logistics certainly makes the process easier. We recommend shopping around to find one that suits your needs but here’s a list of some of our favourite pet exporter companies.

  • PetAir UK. Run by professional veterinarians, PetAir UK are experts at comfortably and safely transporting your pet anywhere in the world. They’ll help you handle all of the logistics and even create custom creates tailored specifically to your pet’s needs.
  • AirPets. Based in the UK’s largest airport, AirPets offer convenient and luxurious pet transport. Their door-to-door service and dedicated personal pet travel consult will take all of the hassle out of moving your pet to Australia or New Zealand.
  • Animal Airlines. Operating from nearly every major airport in the UK, Animal Airlines have been transporting pets internationally since the 1960s. They’ll handle everything from airline reservations to documentation and arranging quarantine.

Step One of Moving to Australia and New Zealand with Pets: Book Quarantine

Every animal arriving from outside New Zealand and Australia will need to spend ten days in a government approved quarantine facility. You’ll need to reserve their space and receive a confirmation letter before you can apply for an import permit. If you’re using a pet exporter company, they’ll handle this part of the process.

In New Zealand, pet quarantine facilities are privately owned which means you’ll have a range of options to choose from. An MPI approved list is available here and you can often make a booking online or via email.  We recommend reading the online reviews to make sure you select one that can meet your and your pet’s needs.

Australia only has one government approved quarantine facility, located in the Melbourne suburb of Mickleham. You’ll need to obtain an import permit and your pet will need their rabies vaccinations and RNATT certification before you can book quarantine. The facility fills up quick quickly so it’s important to make a reservation before planning your move to Australia. We recommend booking as soon as possible, but at least two months before your arrival.

Step Two of Pet Relocation to New Zealand and Australia: Book Your Flight

Both Australia and New Zealand have strict regulations about the airlines that can import animals and the airports animals can arrive at.

For New Zealand, it’s likely that your pet will have to enter New Zealand via Auckland as only certain airlines, like Air New Zealand, are allowed to import animals into the country. As the only quarantine facility in Australia is located in Melbourne, your pet will need to arrive at Melbourne International Airport, undergo the mandated quarantine period and THEN travel to its final destination.

A pet exporter can help you find the best flight and plan the safest route for your animal to travel.

Step Three of Moving Pets to Australia and New Zealand: Vaccinations

About 18 to six months before you relocate, you’ll need to start the rabies work. As New Zealand and Australia are rabies-free countries, all animals must receive a rabies vaccination before arrival.

Dogs and cats arriving from the United Kingdom are required to have their primary rabies vaccination at least six months (seven months for Australia) and a rabies blood sample at least three months (one month for Australia) before flying.  Even if you’ve had your animal previously vaccinated, it’s likely you’ll need to do it again as vaccinations must be given within the 12 months before travel.

Step Four of Moving to Australia or New Zealand with Pets: Veterinary Checks

Before travelling, you’ll need to have a veterinary check completed. The veterinary checks for Australia and New Zealand vary slightly.

For New Zealand, Dogs will need to be tested for Leptospira and heartworm and receive treatment against ticks and internal parasites while cats will need to be treated for ticks and worms (about three weeks before flying). Both dogs and cats will also need to be microchipped.

Dogs will also need to attend the vet about two weeks before flying to be tested for Babesia and Brucella. Both dogs and cats will need to see the vet two days before flying for a final check and treatment for ticks. This final check-up is required for the UK DEFRA export paperwork.

For Australia, you’ll need to take your dog to the vet about 52-43 days before travelling so that the vet can examine your dog for ticks and apply an anti-tick treatment. Make sure that your vet issues the right treatment as the Australian government has regulations about the treatments they can accept. As an entry requirement to Australia, your dog will also need to be vaccinated against Leptospira. During this initial vet appointment, you’ll also need to get the DEFRA export paperwork.

About a month before flying, you’ll need to return to your vet to have blood samples completed to confirm that your pet does not have any diseases like Ehrlichia, Leishmania or Brucella. Dogs and cats will also need to receive another tick and internal worm treatment.

The final veterinary check happens five days before your flight. At this appointment, your animal will receive a general check-up to ensure they’re healthy to fly and do not have any infectious or contagious diseases. Your vet will also need to complete the UK export paperwork.

Step Five of Moving a Dog or Cat to Australia or New Zealand: Import Permits

Pets travelling from the UK to Australia New Zealand will also need an import permit to fly. To apply for the permit, you’ll need to provide the quarantine confirmation letter and initial vet documents.

The vet documents need to confirm that your pet has been microchipped, has been vaccinated against rabies and has passed the Rabies Titer test. The documents also need to include an Official Veterinary Declaration (OVD).

For New Zealand, it can take up to a month to process the import permit and we recommend applying at least 20 days before arrival. The import permit is only valid for ten days from your intended arrival date so if you have a change in plans you’ll need to apply for another permit. Import permits for New Zealand are about half the price of Australian import permits and typically cost around NZ$220.74.

For Australia, the process typically takes about 42 days so we recommend applying two months before arrival. It’s also a relatively expensive application with Australian import permits costing around $480 AUD.

More information about the import permit and other steps you need to take to move your pet to New Zealand can be found in MPI’s handy guide and information about Australian import permits can be found here.

Have Questions About Moving to New Zealand or Australia as a Doctor?

At Transition Medical we help GPs, and their pets, make the move down under. Over the years, we’ve assisted many GPs move to New Zealand and Australia and have experience dealing with complicated issues like visas and pet relocation. Speak to one of our specialist recruitment professionals today to find out more or browse our current job openings.

Other Relevant Blogs

Moving to New Zealand from the UK: How Does New Zealand’s Education System Compare?

A crucial part of preparing to move to New Zealand with children is considering how they might adjust to the change. Naturally, you’ll have questions about New Zealand’s education system? Will your children be able to start school immediately? How does New Zealand’s education system differ to the UK’s?

Our blog article takes an in-depth look at the New Zealand education system for international students with a particular focus on how it differs from the UK. We hope it eases any concerns about emigrating to New Zealand and are happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

New Zealand’s Education System at a Glance 

Each year the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) assesses and compares educational systems across the world. Here’s how New Zealand’s education system measured up for early childhood education and schooling:

  • New Zealand ranked in the top third of OECD countries for early childhood indicators like participation and expenditure
  • New Zealand’s education system has some of the lowest teacher-child ratios
  • Youth employment, when compared to other OECD countries, remains high and New Zealanders are more likely to leave school sooner to pursue employment or further education opportunities
  • New Zealanders, between the ages of 15 to 29, not in employment, education or training (NEET) is lower than the OECD average

Overall, these results are quite positive. Students studying in New Zealand can expect to receive more individual attention from teachers due to the low teacher-child ratios and continue on to promising employment and education opportunities post-graduation.

Moving to New Zealand with Children: How Does New Zealand’s School System Work?

New Zealand provides free access to education for students between the ages of six to 16. Unlike British students, who typically start school between the ages of 4 to 5, New Zealand students don’t start school till after their 5th birthday and parents can choose to delay their education till the age of six.

Similar to the UK, the New Zealand education system also includes 13 years. Students typically attend primary schools from year 1 to 8 if it’s a ‘full’ primary school or year 1 to 6 if it’s a ‘contributing’ primary school. Pupils at ‘contributing’ primary schools then attend an intermediate school for years 7 and 8 before moving onto secondary school.

Secondary school, also sometimes referred to as ‘college’ or ‘high school’, covers years 9 to 13. New Zealand has a great teacher-student ratio for years 7 to 10 with most classes only having 16 students per teacher — well below the teacher-student ratios in the UK. Legally, students in New Zealand are allowed to leave secondary school before finishing year 13 but are not allowed to leave school till after their 16th birthday.

Types of Schools

The New Zealand education system has three types of schools:

  • State schools. State schools, also known as public schools, are owned and funded by the government. 75% of New Zealand students attend state schools. Education is free, but parents may need to pay for supplies or uniforms.
  • State integrated schools. Integrated schools are schools that follow a certain religious belief, teaching style, etc. These schools are funded by the government but may charge a compulsory fee of NZ $1,500/year for upkeep.
  • Private schools. Only 5% of New Zealand students attend private schools. Some schools have boarding facilities while others are only for day students. As private schools are not government funded, parents need to pay tuition which typically costs NZ$20,000 per year.

Key Takeaway: In general, New Zealand’s school system is very similar to the UK so students, as well as teachers, can seamlessly transition between the two.

New Zealand Education System: Smaller Class Sizes, More Individual Attention

New Zealand has a fantastic student-teacher ratio. In fact, one of the most notable differences between UK and New Zealand school systems is class sizes. Most New Zealand classes only have between 17 to 30 pupils and the official OECD ratio is 1:14 for secondary schools. On the other hand, the UK is known for large class sizes and OECD reports reveal that British schools have some of the largest class sizes in the developed world.

As such, students studying in New Zealand can expect to get plenty of focused, personal attention. Smaller class sizes can allow students to achieve better academic results, feel more supported and develop a closer relationship with their teachers.

New Zealand National Curriculum 

State and integrated schools throughout New Zealand use a national curriculum focusing on values, key competencies and subject areas. Students are encouraged to think creatively and analytically while building skills in core subjects like maths, English and science.

New Zealand also emphasises ecological sustainability, community and local cultures. As such, students are often taken on educational trips to explore New Zealand’s unique natural beauty and learn about local plants and animals. Studying in New Zealand will allow your child to learn about the nation’s Maori culture, history and experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Key Takeaway: Attending a state or integrated school allows your child to learn about your new home’s incredible natural beauty and local culture.

Moving to New Zealand from the UK: Different School Days and Holidays

As a country in the Southern hemisphere, New Zealand’s seasons are almost the exact opposite of UK seasons. Summer in New Zealand runs from December to February while winter is from June to August. This also impacts school schedules:

  • Term 1: Late January to early April (two-week break)
  • Term 2: May to early July (two-week break)
  • Term 3: Late July to late September (two-week break)
  • Term 4: Mid-October to mid-December (six-weeks summer holiday)

Similar to the UK, Students still get a six week summer holiday. However, unlike the UK, the summer holiday happens between mid-December and late January!

For exact school holiday dates, check the Ministry of Education’s website.

How to Enrol Your Child in School

Once you’ve secured a job and know which town you’ll be living in, you need to start the enrolment process. Each school follows slightly different procedures so you’ll need to contact them directly and get their enrolment forms. When your child can start school will depend on whether they’ve had previous schooling.

Children Starting School Without Previous Schooling

Children in New Zealand typically start school on their fifth birthday, but parents can choose to delay their child starting school till their sixth birthday when they’re legally required to be enrolled in school.

Some schools allow students to start at any time of the year after their fifth birthday, while others have ‘cohort’ entries which means that all students start at the school at the beginning of the year. If your child is attending a school using the ‘cohort’ system, you can still choose to delay their entrance till their sixth birthday.

Children Starting School With Previous Schooling

If you have an older child that’s already received some previous schooling, you can enrol them in New Zealand schools at any time of year. They’ll be placed in the same year as other similarly aged students; for example, ten-year-olds will be placed in year 5 or 6.

Does Your Child Need a Visa to Study in New Zealand?

Whether your child can attend a state or state integrated school for free will depend on if they qualify as a domestic student. To be a domestic student, your child must be a New Zealand resident, permanent resident, citizen or obtain a student visa based on your temporary work visa.

As the child of a GP on a work visa, your child will qualify for a dependent child student visa and will be able to enrol in school as a domestic student.

Emigrate to New Zealand as a GP

Ready to start the process of emigrating to New Zealand from the UK? View some of our latest job vacancies or speak to one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.

We’re happy to answer any questions you might have or help you get started on the move down under!

Relevant New Zealand Blog Articles

What is life like for GPs in New Zealand?

What is it like to work as a Doctor in New Zealand

Before you start your GP job search in New Zealand, you may want to find out more about day to day life in New Zealand.

There are just 4.5 million New Zealanders, scattered across 270,534 sq km: bigger than the UK with one-fourteenth the population. New Zealand is the land of extremes with sublime forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and glaziers. It is relatively easy to travel around with distances between different towns and cities not being too great. Transport networks are well developed with airports throughout the country and well maintained highways.

It is made up of two main islands and numerous smaller ones: the North Island (known as Te Ika-a-Maui in Maori) is the more populous of the two, and is separated by the Cook Strait from the somewhat larger but much less populated South Island (or Te Waipounamu).

New Zealand is consistently rated as a country with one of the highest qualities of life in the world. It offers a safe environment for the whole family offering a great outdoor lifestyle.  New Zealand is an increasing multicultural society that appeals due to its diversity, laid back way of life and temperate climate.

New Zealand People

This former British colony has a population mainly of European descent but with an important indigenous Māori minority of mixed blood, a rapidly growing Asian minority, and smaller minorities of Polynesians, people from the Americas, South Africans and African.

The people of New Zealand are famed for their relaxed and friendly approach. More than one million New Zealanders were born overseas.

New Zealand Climate

New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and many hours of sunshine.
While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can get as cold as -10°C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast with milder temperatures.

The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south.  With their summer over January and February, these are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC (70-90°F) and in winter between 10-15ºC (50-60°F).
Most places in New Zealand receive over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, with the sunniest areas – Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Nelson/Marlborough – receiving over 2,350 hours. As New Zealand observes daylight saving, during summer months daylight can last up until 9.30pm.

Cost of Living as a GP in New Zealand

Cost of living in New Zealand will very much depend on which part of the country you relocate.
One independent international survey ranked Auckland 58th in the world in terms of its cost of living, and Wellington 75th, far better than other major cities. Such cities included Hong Kong (3), Singapore (4), New York (16), London (25), Sydney (26), Melbourne (33) and Guangzhou (31) – showing that comparatively, New Zealand’s major metropolitan areas are more affordable. See our recent blog piece on cost of living for a GP in New Zealand

For an up to date costs of different items please see here 

New Zealand GP Registration Process

The registration process for New Zealand is relatively straightforward and usually takes a month to complete the application with the Medical Council of New Zealand.  To complete the full immigration and registration process you should allow 3 months after we have secured you a position. You will be eligible for registration if you hold a specialist GP certificate (i.e. MRCGP / MICGP / JCPTGP / PMETB).

If you hold your GP qualification from another country then you may be eligible for ‘comparable healthcare.’ registration.  You will be required to hold 3 years of comparable healthcare experience. Please see the MCNZ website for a full list of comparable countries.

All new registrants, regardless of seniority, must work under supervision for the first 6-12 months in New Zealand to become familiar with the culture.  During this time you will be registered within a provisional general scope of practice and performance will be assessed by senior colleagues.

They will be required to complete certain requirements to be registered within a general scope. This will cause minimal impact on your day to day job and you will still be able to see patients independently.

NZ Visa for GPs 

To assist you through the complex immigration process we work with a Licensed Immigration Advisor who is registered with the Immigration Advisers Authority New Zealand. We are in partnership with one of the largest Immigration Advisors in the UK, The Emigration Group where one their specialist advisors will be able to guide you smoothly through the process.

What does a GP earn in New Zealand?

The minimum hours you are required to work to comply with your visa are 30. Most GPs will work around 35 – 40 hours per week over 8 – 10 sessions.

Unlike Australia, there are no restrictions on where you can practice as a GP in New Zealand allowing you the option to choose where to live and work; be it in the city centre, by the beach or somewhere more rural.

As a GP moving to New Zealand you will be offered an employed, salary position ($150 – $200k NZD approx). You may perhaps have the option to buy into the practice or take over the practice at a later date.  Work / life balance is excellent in New Zealand, most GPs only see 4 patients per hour allowing more time with patients and less bureaucracy and paperwork.

NZ Tax Rate 

Income tax rates for tax year 2017 – 2018

Taxable income                    Tax Rate
up to $14,000                        10.5 %
from $14,001 to $48,000       17.5 %
from $48,001 to $70,000       30 %
$70,001 and over                 33 %

For more detailed up to date tax information please see the tax office website
Income tax calculator

New Zealand Schools and Education

There’s a choice of three types of school in New Zealand – state schools (funded by the government), ‘state integrated’ schools and private schools.

State schools are the choice for the vast majority of New Zealand children (85%). Schooling is free at these schools, although parents are asked for a contribution to help cover costs of activities that are outside of the core curriculum. Typically this will be around NZ$250- $500. There will also be other charges for sports, school trips, special tuition, exam fees, and other course related costs.

‘State integrated’ schools are schools with a special character – they may be run by a particular religious faith e.g. Catholic or use specialist education methods like Steiner or Montessori. Just over 10% of students are enrolled at these schools. Education in state integrated schools is also funded by the government but the schools may charge fees for various facilities which are usually around NZ$1,500 a year.

Just under 5% of children go to private schools which charge around NZ$20,000 in fees a year.
School usually starts at 9am and runs to 3pm or 3:30pm. There are four school terms running from late January to mid-December with two-week breaks between them and a six-week summer break at the end of the year.

New Zealand Accommodation

Most GPs choose to rent a property in New Zealand first and buy later when settled. Housing varies greatly across the country.  Prices tend to be higher in the cities with Auckland being the most expensive and slightly lower on the south island.  For more information on property please see and TradeMe

New Zealand Healthcare System

Primary healthcare, including general practice, out-patient services, and prescriptions, is funded by a combination of public subsidy and private contributions. General Practitioners provide primary, community based, comprehensive and continuing patient-centred care to individuals, families and the community. Many general practices run as private businesses and set their own fees which are paid by the patient.

The cost of a visit will be lower if you’re enrolled with the GP, because the government subsidises the fee. Some general practices join a ‘low cost access’ programme run by their primary health organisation (PHO) which is overseen by the local District Health Board. This means they get extra government funding to keep their fees at low levels.  GPs, Practice Nurses, Māori health providers and other primary healthcare providers work together to meet the health requirements of the local people, with PHOs funded according to the demographics and needs of their population.

Secondary healthcare services, including acute hospital treatment, are free to those who meet the eligibility criteria. New Zealand has a reciprocal agreement with the UK to provide free treatment. There is strong uptake of private health insurance (as in Australia), partially triggered by long waits for state hospital treatment.

Speak to Our Medical Recruitment Specialists 

Thinking about relocating to New Zealand? Our experienced medical recruitment specialists are here to help. We can advise on everything from visa queries to questions about the cost of living in New Zealand. Speak to us today to get started on your move down under or browse some of our excellent GP jobs New Zealand.

Further Reading
8 Benefits of Moving to New Zealand
Is there an age limit for GPs
The Cost of Living as a Doctor in New Zealand

Useful Links
Medical Council of New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand 
Emigration Group

Top 10 Tips for GPs relocating to Australia

Top 10 Tips for GPs relocating to Australia

Here at Transition Medical we get asked many questions from GPs new to their Australia job search. As one of the leading UK GP recruitment agencies we have compiled a brief checklist of things you’ll need to have (and think about)!

  1. Primary Medical Degree from a recognised university – MBBS, MB ChB, MD, MB BCh, BM etc
  1. Language Skills – All overseas trained GPs are required to demonstrate their English competency. This can be proven if English is your primary language, you completed your schooling from a recognised English-speaking country (UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa or USA) and your medical qualifications were completed in English. Without this you will need to have successfully completed PLAB or IELTS.
  1. Medical Registration – Full, current and unconditional registration from your current authority (i.e. GMC) and unconditional registration from any previous registering authority. You will need a Certificate of Good Standing from each authority over the last 10 years.
  1. GP Qualification – The most popular pathway for doctors to work as a GP in Australia is the Specialist Pathway Program via the Royal Australian College of GPs. The MRCGP and MICGP qualifications are deemed comparable alongside the NZ Fellowship and Certificate in the College of Family Physicians of Canada. If you hold another qualification please do get in touch to discuss your skills and experience.
  1. A Job Offer – To work as a doctor in Australia you need to secure medical registration and a suitable employment visa. The first step of this process is to speak to one of our medical recruitment specialists to find you a great GP job in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne or elsewhere. The demand for skilled workers in New Zealand is very high and we currently have plenty of GP jobs available across Australia.
  1. Location – Australia is a large country with a diverse range of culture and climate. It can be daunting when you start your job search so it is important to take some time doing your research and working out the best spot for you and your family. Our medical recruitment consultants have lived and travelled extensively around Australia and can help guide you in the right direction.
  1. Timescales – The medical recruitment process can take some time to navigate through the various stages. You would be wise to allow adequate time for the Australian registration and visa process, we recommend getting in touch approximately 9 – 12 months prior to you arriving to move through all the key stages.
  1. Age doesn’t matter – Medical practices are looking for good all-round GPs, so whether you are newly qualified, mid-way through your career or reaching retirement there will be a GP vacancy available for you.
  1. Provider Number – Once you have arrived in Australia, you’ll have up to a 4 week wait for your provider number to come through to allow you to start work and ultimately start earning money. Although this is a great chance to settle in and complete your induction do bear this in mind when you’re thinking about your finances.
  1. Finally – When considering working as a doctor in Australia, it may seem a daunting process and you’ll be weighing up the pros and cons of relocating. Many GPs have already made the move and find the working conditions, increased income potential and, of course, lifestyle to be far superior than the UK. Discover what our GPs have to say and why we’re one of the Best Doctor Recruitment Agencies

Further Reading

Find out What life is like for a GP in Australia

What do GPs earn in Australia?

How to find a great Job

Please do get in touch with one of our medical recruitment specialists if you wish to discuss your GP job search further.

What is life like working as a GP in Australia – We talk to a UK GP

What is life like working as a GP in Australia – We talk to a UK GP

We speak to one of our GPs who started working in a practice on Australia’s beautiful West Coast. David fancied a new challenge and a chance to explore Australia again before settling into retirement.

Why did you decide to work as a GP in Australia?

I enjoyed working in Australia 20 and 30 years ago and wanted to revisit. Working allowed me to get to know the community better and visit areas of interest which are less visited. It was a great opportunity to do this whilst being paid.

Coming from a GP background my trauma skills were rusty, I fancied a change and felt this was a controlled challenge with supportive colleagues. I wanted the mental challenge of something new and developing and using new skills and knowledge alongside helping patients.

Tell us about a typical Day in your GP role…

A typical day is 8.30am – 12.30pm in the morning, a 1-hour break (where the practice is closed and you have to go outside) and 1.30 – 5pm in the afternoon. My day is probably not typical of most GPs in Australia. I see 8 patients in the morning and 7 patients in the afternoon with around 20 minutes per patient. I’m paid a salary and certainly feel very well paid for what I do.

The last patient is seen at 3.30-4pm to allow time to wind up paperwork to close at 5 on the dot.

I work with aboriginal patients. About 60% of the Australian population is obese and this is higher in the aboriginal community. It’s not unusual to see complex diabetes, high blood pressure, lots of alcohol and drug misuse and social disruption.

There are lots of people to help, the patients have plenty of support from specialists. I can order a CT scan or an x-ray in a few days rather than it taking a month.

It’s really interesting work after 29 years of GP experience, I wanted to leave general practice whilst still enjoying GP work. I didn’t want more of the same and this is not the same!

Best Bit about your day

When time allows, to talk in depth with patients about their lives, when layers of reserve drop a little which allows for shared laughter and mutual respect.

Most challenging part of your day

There is a fairly disorganised patient population with chaotic family life and widespread endemic of drugs and alcohol and obesity.

How have you and your family settling in and would you have any tips for other GPs relocating?

We are settling in, our house is just perfect – overlooking the water, with a little garden and a big veranda to sit out on. Carnarvon produces 80% of WA’s home-grown fruit and veg apparently, there certainly is an abundance of fresh produce which is a delight, along with fresh fish and what has to be the largest prawns I have ever seen.

There is plenty to see and do despite, or maybe because we are in the outback. The sea is warm and on Saturday we drove up the coast to Coral Bay where we remembered snorkelling 20 years ago. The sun is hot, the sky cloudless and the coffee is good. Sunday we were on the beach and watching humpback whales migrating north along the coast to give birth in the warmer waters before returning with their young later in the year to the feeding grounds of the Antarctic. Wonderful!

I would recommend any doctor moving to Australia to allow a few days to adjust on arrival to get over the jet lag and the last-minute deadlines before leaving the UK.

It’s useful to sit in with other doctors whilst the provider number is being approved. This enforced couple of weeks, although bureaucratic is useful.

When I applied for medical indemnity insurance upon arrival, they needed the certificate from the Uk insurance company so it’s useful to request this before you leave.

The total cost for us was around $14,000 AUD including air travel. I would suggest having a sum set aside for financial reserves until you get paid. I’m not complaining however; the package is brilliant and the accommodation provided is outstanding.

Finally, how have you found Transition Medical in helping you make the move?

The whole team were friendly, informed and supportive throughout the long process and quick to reply to queries. I would have found it impossible without their guidance, ground down by the bureaucracy. You would be mad to fly solo!’

Find out more about working as a GP in rural or regional Australia

How much do GPs earn in Australia?

Our Top 10 Tips for Relocating

If you have any specific questions or would like to find out how you could make a similar move please do get in touch.


Celebrating 3 years of Transition Medical

We celebrate 3 years in business, assisting doctors relocate to New Zealand and Australia

We have just proudly passed our three-year anniversary for Transition Medical. Our Managing Director, Emma Cook explains further about the background of the business.

‘When I launched the business, I had many years of experience helping GPs relocate to Australia and New Zealand and knowledge to be able to confidently find GPs amazing jobs and am so proud of  where we are three years down the line.

Having spent many months preparing the groundwork, with the support of my family (and young baby in tow) we launched in August 2014. I passionately believed in providing a professional and friendly service to help GPs move to Australia and New Zealand and wanted that dream to come to reality.

We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the doctors we’ve placed overseas and we continue to enjoy working with each and every GP who is making the leap into life down under. Thank to you all for giving us the opportunity to help you make your dream come true.

I want to say a huge thanks to our clients in Australia and New Zealand for their business and to our amazing, hard-working team, who navigate their way through the intricate workings of the medical registration and visa processes. Many of GPs say they would never manage themselves!

We believe in keeping things simple and friendly! Give us a call today to see how you will too find Transition Medical a great partner to help you move Down Under.

Look forward to working with you,