19AB Exemptions Explained

19AB Exemptions Explained

Spousal Exemption, Replacement Exemption, After Hours Exemption, Academic Exemption, ATSI Exemption, Locum Exemption – What are they and how can you apply? 

19AB ATSI Exemption

An ATSI exemption means that a General Practitioner is employed or will be employed by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Service. They will be eligible for an exemption through working with an ATSI clinic. 

19AB Assistance at Operations Exemption

The Assistance at Operations exemption allows doctors to assist at an operation or an invasive specialist procedure under the supervision of a fully supervised surgeon. 

Doctors are able to access the Assistance at Operation items of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and these items are listed in the Group T9 of the Health Insurance (General Medical Services Table) Regulation 2016.

This exemption applies to medical practitioners in the hospital system. 

19AB Academic Exemption

Applications for the academic class exemption are assessed by Services Australia – Medicare, and the Department of Health is not involved in this process. I

Who may apply for coverage under the academic class 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. 

In order to be eligible, a doctor 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.
  • Be an VR doctor

What does the academic class exemption allow the doctor to do?

The academic class exemption allows a doctor to have limited access to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebates for any clinical services they perform when working in their academic appointment. This exemption does not let a doctor claim a rebate 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 

19AB After Hours Exemption

An after hours exemption allows the GP to only work during the after hours periods. This is from 6pm till 8am weekdays and all day weekends and public holidays. Please note, the Medicare after hour periods differ to the 19AB exemption periods. 

19AB Spousal Exemption

A Spousal Exemption will allow eligible GPs to practice within a close vicinity to their partner’s primary place of employment. 

To be eligible their spouse will need to be: 

  • A registered medical practitioner who is not restricted by 19AB because they are either out of their moratorium or hold a permanent 19AB Exemption (for example Replacement Exemption); or
  • A non-medical practitioner on a Skilled Migrant Visa who has been assessed as having a skilled occupation that is in demand, who migrated to Australia within the last 10 years with the purpose to work in that occupation; and is currently employed in that skilled occupation in Australia.

If you are also restricted by 19AA: This exemption can only be used when applying for AGPT for entry to the general stream instead of the rural stream (this exemption would need to be approved prior to your application). 

19AB Locum Exemption

A locum exemption means the General Practitioner can work in a practice for a maximum of 6 months ideally whilst arranging employment in a DPA area. A locum exemption cannot be extended or repeated at the same practice. However, a General Practitioner can hold as many locum exemptions as they would like as long as the practices are different (i.e. they could spend their full moratorium going to different practices on locum exemptions).

19AB Replacement Exemption

A replacement exemption is when a GP that commenced in the practice when it was a DPA/DWS area, gives up their exemption for another GP to take over. The new GP would need to take over the exemption within 12 months of the last billing date of the last GP. The leaving GP will need to provide evidence of their provider number closure and a statutory declaration confirming they will not be returning to the practice or area. The leaving GP is not allowed to return to this area to practice until their moratorium has officially ended. 

If you are also restricted by 19AA: You will not be eligible for a replacement exemption if you are also restricted by 19AA.

How Can We Help?

Our team offer General Practitioners help 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 [email protected]

People Medical Consulting like sharing what we know, giving you a clear pathway to your career. We answer a different question each week that you ask us on Facebook & Instagram.

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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