District of Workforce (DWS) Australia explained
One of the most frequently asked questions we are asked from GPs relocating to Australia is ‘where can I work as a GP in Australia’
Overseas trained GPs in Australia are required to work in a District of Workforce Shortage also known as DWS. This is a geographical area, defined by the Department of Health Australia, in which the local population has less access to Medicare subsidised services compared with the national average.
The DWS Doctor Connect map allows you to search specific locations to determine DWS eligibility.
The Department of Health is responsible for making DWS determinations. This is reviewed and subject to change on a regular basis. Once you obtain medical registration in Australia, the DWS restrictions are in place for up to 10 years after you gain registration, known as the “10 year moratorium.”
What this means for you as a GP is you are generally restricted to the outer metro suburbs of the larger state capitals, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney etc and smaller towns and cities or rural areas.
There are some limited circumstances, exemptions to the DWS restrictions. You are able to work as a Locum GP in a fixed term contract of 6 months or work in an after hours capacity. For more information on these please do get in touch.
The market for overseas trained GPs is still very strong in Australia and with well over 100 GP positions to choose from there will be something there for everyone.