The 10-year moratorium or the 19AB restriction to work in a DPA location (for General Practitioners) or DWS (for other Specialists) requires anyone who completed their degree outside of Australia or New Zealand, or anyone who enrolled in their degree whilst they were a temporary resident to work in an identified area referred to as a DPA for 10 years.
There are two ways to reduce this—
This method is straightforward—the more rurally you work, the quicker your moratorium will reduce because of scaling credits. Having more credits will let you work at Non-DPA or Non-DWS locations faster as long as you are eligible under the section 19AA requirements.
This works on the ‘RA’ model rather than the newer MMM.
Working in an RA 5 location will reduce your moratorium by attributing an additional 30.4 days for each month that you work. This means that if you work in an RA 5 for 5 years, then for each month you work an additional month is calculated meaning 5 years will be exempt from working in a DPA or DWS.
Or, to put it simply, if you work in an RA 5 for 5 years, then you will be exempt from the following 5 years of your moratorium.
Each RA gives you a similar year, based on the number. An RA 4 will remove 4 years from your moratorium. An RA 3 will remove 3 years from your moratorium.
Moving in between RAs will change the time you’re given towards your scaling.
Here is a graph showing the moratorium scaling, that is accessible on the Department of Health Website.
You can check your moratorium and scaling credits via Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) account.
To be eligible, you’ll need to get Medicare Benefits Schedule items for employment services, and to be billing over $5000/month. If you are qualified and have given your Medicare billing data, Medicare will be the one who applies your scaling credits.
For doctors working in several locations, the scaling basis would be where you claim the majority of Medicare items monthly.
Please note if you are part of the 5-year Overseas Trained Doctor Scheme program, then you are NOT eligible to attain scaling credits.
The 5-year International Medical Graduates Recruitment Scheme
This is an initiative that is administered by the Rural Workforce Agencies in each state, and this was also formerly entitled as the ‘Five Year Overseas Trained Doctors Scheme.’
You will reduce your moratorium to between 3 – 5 years based on what category you’re eligible for.
- Category A is for RA 5 (MM 5 – 7) locations, and will reduce your moratorium to 3 years.
- Category B is for practices who are in an RA 4 (MM 4 – 7), or who can demonstrate that they have had a high turnover of GPs or have had a vacancy for a considerable period of time. Other factors taken into consideration is whether they have less than 3 Doctors in the community, difficult community attributes or extreme climates. This will reduce your moratorium to 5 years,
- Category C is within locations which are MM 3 – 7 and can demonstrate difficulty with recruiting. This will reduce your moratorium to 5 years.
According to the Five Year International Medical Graduates Recruitment Scheme, you’ll be eligible if you:
- Hold or obtain appropriate registration with the Medical Board of Australia,
- Are able to obtain a Medicare Provider Number at the relevant practice/town,
- Intend to seek or currently possess permanent residency and/or Australian Citizenship; and
- Will be providing at least 7 sessions a week as part of their placement.
- Intend to join or currently participating in a relevant general practice or rural generalist training
pathway that will enable them to gain specialist qualifications while working in the chosen practice
for the length of their Scheme agreement.
Be aware though, that working on this scheme will make you ineligible for the scaling credits which means you do one or the other. If you start the OTD 5 year scheme, prepare to be there for the entire time required!
How to apply?
Check if you’re eligible before applying through the Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs). See the RWAs contact details below.
NSW Rural Doctors Network
Address: Level 3, 133 King Street
NEWCASTLE NSW 2300
Phone: (02) 4924 8000
Rural Workforce Agency Victoria
Address: Wurundjeri Country,
Level 6, Tower 4 World Trade Centre
-38 Siddeley Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3008
Phone:(03) 9349 7800
Health Workforce Queensland
Address: Level 13, 288 Edward Street
BRISBANE QLD 4001
Phone: (07) 3105 7800
Rural Doctors Workforce Agency, South Australia
Address: 63 Henley Beach Road
MILE END SA 5031
Phone: (08) 8234 8277
Rural Health West, Western Australia
Address: Level 2, 10 Stirling Highway
NEDLANDS WA 6909
Phone: (08) 6389 4500
Address: 37 Frederick Street
LAUNCESTON TAS 7250
Phone: (03) 6332 8600
Northern Territory Primary Health Network
Address: 23 Albatross Street
WINNELLIE NT 0820
Phone: (08) 8982 1000
Note: The information presented above has been gathered from AHPRA web pages and has been updated as of 16.06.2023.
- AHPRA – 10-year moratorium and scaling
- AHPRA – Section 19AB exemptions
- AHPRA – Five Year International Medical Graduate (IMG) Recruitment Scheme Guidelines – Feb 2023
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