19AB Academic Exemption

What is an Academic Exemption?

If you work at a University teaching medical students, you may be eligible for an academic exemption. 

The academic class exemption covers overseas trained doctors (OTDs) and foreign graduates of an accredited medical school (FGAMS) who are employed into an academic position by an Australian medical school to teach medical students. 

The aim of the academic class exemption is to give doctors partial access to MBS so they can fulfill the requirements of their academic position. They can only use MBS for clinical services that are necessary for their teaching duties, and cannot use it for private practice.

Am I eligible for an Academic Exemption?

To be eligible for an Academic Exemption, you must:

  • Have been appointed into an academic position by a university medical school; and
  • Have a contract of employment with the university medical school for the purpose of the academic appointment.
  • Hold Specialist Registration with the Medical Board of Australia.

Kindly note that before a doctor can benefit from the academic class exemption, they need to fulfill the vocational recognition requirements of section 19AA of the Health Insurance Act. This means that if a doctor does not hold a specialist Fellowship from an Australian college, they won’t be eligible for the exemption, even if they have an academic appointment with a medical school.

The following university medical schools are eligible locations for an Academic Exemption:

  • Bond University
  • Deakin University
  • Flinders University of South Australia
  • Griffith University
  • James Cook University
  • Macquarie University
  • Monash University
  • The Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • The University of Sydney
  • The University of Tasmania
  • The University of Western Sydney
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of New England
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of Queensland
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Wollongong

What can I do with an Academic Exemption?

The academic class exemption will allow you to have limited access to Medicare rebates for clinical services you perform when working in your academic appointment. 

What does limited access mean?

The limitation is determined by your qualifications and the nature of the appointment.

You will need to limit your practice at the location to only the types of services required to provide the clinical service required by your academic appointment. This changes depending on the nature of the appointment.

For example, if the appointment was related to research in a specific clinical technique and the requirement for clinical services was to perform the technique, then your practice would be limited to performing this technique. Additionally, you will only be able to access Medicare rebates for this technique. 

What can’t I do with the Academic Exemption?

This class exemption does not provide an eligibility to claim MBS rebates for any services that are unrelated to the academic appointment and does not support:

  • Private practice that is unrelated to teaching responsibilities; or
  • Employment engagements between the doctor and a private medical practice (even in the case that the medical practice has entered into an agreement with a University to teach medical students).

How do I apply?

To apply for an Academic Exemption you will need to prepare a Medicare Provider Number application (HW019 Form) as usual. The application must also be submitted to Medicare at provider.registration@servicesaustralia.gov.au.

You will also need to submit a letter from the Medical School which:

  • Advises that you are requesting a 19AB exemption on the grounds of an academic appointment, 
  • Includes the dates of appointment, and that you are required to undertake clinical services as part of your appointment,
  • Must be signed by the Dean or a senior officer. 


Our team offer General Practitioners assistance with finding jobs and a career pathway, and Medical Facilities to find a new Medical Practitioner. We also help with the full application process with AHPRA, RACGP, ACRRM, Department of Health, Medicare including 19AA & 19AB. If we can help, please contact us at help@peoplemedical.com.au

People Medical Consulting are a team of professionals with a passion for guiding those specialising in the Medical industry to find their career pathway and settle into Australia. Working with both Australian trained and Overseas trained professionals, we have extensive experience in Recruitment of General Practitioners and Document Assistance for those requiring support with RACGP, AHPRA, 19AA and 19AB Medicare Exemptions. 

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