Foreign doctors will be forced to leave the country amid concerns about falling standards and a massive increase in charges to the taxpayer
- The number of foreign-trained GPs is set to fall by more than 1,000 in four years
- The changes come after a surge in charges billed to doctors trained overseas
- They will save the government $400,000 a year for each doctor not given a visa
- New analysis has also highlighted an over-supply of foreign doctors in Australia
The number of foreign doctors working in Australia is set to be slashed amid massive increases in charges to Medicare and a fall in professional standards.
The amount of imported GPs will fall by more than 1,000 – as doctors who have been trained overseas will have to leave in a visa overhaul.
The Department of Home Affairs has been asked to make visa changes for overseas-trained doctors to enforce the new changes.
The number of foreign-trained GPs working in Australia is set to be slashed from January by 1000 over four years (stock image)
The decision by authorities to make the reduction comes after a surge in charges billed to overseas-trained doctors.
Average government billing for an overseas-trained doctor has tripled in three years, and in 2010 reached $486,398.
Concerns were also raised in an analysis by the Health Department about the supply of doctors in Australia not corresponding to patients’ actual needs.
According to The Australian, the government would reduce costs by more than $400,000 a year for each doctor by reducing the number of visas given out to GPs working in metropolitan areas by 200 a year from next January for four years.
Almost three-quarters of all overseas doctors work in primary healthcare in cities, according to a briefing note issued by the Health Department.
The decision comes after a tripling in medicare billing charged to foreign-trained doctors (stock image)
The new government plans, laid out in the budget, will seek to replace foreign doctors in urban areas with Australian medical graduates in regional areas.
But Labor health spokeswoman Catherine King has asked the Morrison government to justify the cuts – which will lead to cost cuts of $415million.
She said: ‘That’s 11million services Australians won’t get’.
New data has revealed Medicare services per capita rose to 16.8 per cent in 2017.
The new government plans, outlined in the budget, will make savings of $415million (stock image)