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Organizing an Australian Locum
 
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Rural Canadian Locum ManualArrangements for IMG's

A locum in the tropics, and kangaroos of interest to you? A fair number of Canadian rural doctors are heading down under to do locums in Australia. But how to turn a "Wouldn't it be nice" to an experience in Oz?

The first step is finding your locum location(s) in Australia. Western Australia is well organized and a central locum arranging organization exists under the umbrella of WACRRM. Most of the information that you may need is available through them. Locums in the rest of Australia can be arranged usually through the local
divisions of general practice.

Private locum agencies can arrange locums at no direct cost to you. There is cost to the practices however. Some of these agencies are:
  • Queensland: One Stop Medical e-mail at
  • Northern Territory: Northern Territory Remote Health force Agency Inc. e-mail at or at
  • Interstate Locum Services: E-mail at
  • New South Wales: Refer to the NSW Rural Doctors Network website: www.nswrdn.com.au
Get a good idea of what is required from the locum. The call rota, practice location(s), and expected procedure set should be all sorted out ahead. Many country hospital practices expect the locum to be able to do OB, cover the ER, take an Xray, and set the fracture, one in three. Most locums in Australia are paid a salary by the practice. Typically it will be in the $2000-$2500 gross per week depending on remoteness.

Once you have the where worked out allow
4-6 months to work out the paperwork. To start with you will need Visa Sponsorship Approval by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs. They will want:
  1. Certificate of Standing from your local College of Physicians and Surgeons (dated no more than 3 months prior)
  2. Application by the medical organization that will be hiring you
Visa requirements include:
  1. Approval of Sponsorship
  2. Passport pictures
  3. Passport
  4. Proscribed Medical (by your local Canadian GP)
  5. Proscribed Chest Xray (Canadian)
  6. Application Fee ($200 Canadian)
Once you arrive in the state capital you will need to personally present yourself to the State Health Commission and the Board of Medical Practitioners. Health Commission Requirements include
  1. Health Insurance Act 1973 Exemption 3j(1) from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.
  2. Original Degree Certificate
  3. Certificate of Standing from your local College of Physicians and Surgeons (dated no more than 3 months prior)
  4. Evidence of satisfactory completion of first year internship
  5. Passport and work visa
  6. Passport sized photo
  7. Registration fee (for Victoria $200)
Medical Practitioners Board registration requirements include:
  1. Passport with Visa Subclass 422
  2. copy of work contract
You will be registered under section 8(1)(e) of the Medical Practice Act (1994) which will allow you to have restricted registration for no more than 24 months.

While you are in the capital you should also register with the federal department of taxation.  Yes, you will need a tax file number so that an appropriate amount of tax can be taken off your pay.  Remember to get a taxation package to take home with you so that you can file a return in Australia.

For Australia you will be normally considered a non-resident and, although subject to higher taxation than residents, you will not be required to declare Canadian income.  The only significant deduction that you will likely be able to make is mileage to the hospital, as mileage to the surgery doesn't count.  Revenue Canada, will however, want you to declare income from Australian sources, as well as Canadian income when it comes time to file here.  Needless to say keep your receipts.

Disclaimer
The paper chase described on this page is subject to constant change by multiple parties involved. The prudent doctor should check with individual sources (provincial licensing body, department of immigration, etc. as applicable) to determine the issues that pertain to his or her own application.

A Sample Locum
A narrative of some memorable experiences during a locum at Orbost Victoria Australia.

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