Bureaucratic barriers blamed for IMG hardship

The inquiry into the registration processes and support for IMGs held its first public hearing in February last year, and recently notched up its 22nd hearing in Darwin.

Northern Territory General Practice Network clinical services adviser Dr David Thurley, one of several GPs to give evidence at the hearing, told MPs the 10-year moratorium that bound IMGs to rural areas while they worked toward their fellowships was failing to keep doctors in the bush.

“One of the problems with [the moratorium] is that we are making people who are not used to the Australian system go to the most difficult places to work,” he said.

“Once they get their fellowship… a lot of them do leave. As soon as they can, they go to an area that is closer to a big capital city.”

Dr Thurley told the inquiry IMGs forced to work in remote areas faced other challenges, like finding secondary schooling options for their children, the &ldquo