Working in general practice in rural WA

Working in country Western Australia (WA) can be challenging and immensely rewarding.

Most country general practitioners (GPs) work in group practices where a number of GPs share the resources of one practice and support each other in delivering healthcare services.

Some GPs may also treat patients in the local hospital, providing emergency and inpatient services under contract to WA Country Health Service (WACHS). Similar arrangements may be available in some outer metropolitan hospitals.

Rural Health West (external site) is the rural workforce agency for WA and provides a recruitment and orientation program for international medical graduates (IMGs) working in rural general practice and Aboriginal Medical Services.

Rural Health West will undertake clinical interviews and provide support in relation to:

GP positions currently vacant in rural WA are listed on the Rural Health West website.

Rural Health West also manages the Five Year Overseas Trained Doctors Recruitment Scheme (external site).

This scheme supports IMGs working long-term in rural and remote areas of WA, offering them the following incentives:

  • a reduction in the 10 year restriction on access to Medicare provider numbers under section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (also known as the 10 year moratorium)
  • streamlined immigration procedures
  • access to education, support and training
  • opportunities to attain fellowship with the Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

Once fellowship has been attained, IMGs are eligible to apply for Australian permanent residency.

When all requirements of the scheme have been met, including RACGP or ACRRM fellowship, IMGs will receive a general Medicare provider number enabling them to work anywhere in Australia.

Information on other recruitment and retention programs, family support and other services is available from Rural Health West.

IMGs with appropriate qualifications and experience to register as a GP with the Medical Board of Australia may be eligible to work in outer metropolitan regions of Perth.

Job vacancies are generally advertised online and managed by recruitment agencies.  

Produced by

Medical Workforce