IMG work restrictions ‘unlikely to change’

The rule, introduced to address workforce shortages in regional areas, has been the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, after doctor groups complained it was discriminatory and did not address the issue in the long term. The inquiry is set to report next year.

In a written statement to MO, Ms Roxon said she did not want to pre-empt the inquiry’s recommendations but indicated she was not likely to change the moratorium.

“IMGs [have] proven to be a very effective way of improving workforce shortages in the areas of greatest need, which tend to be located in rural and regional Australia, and the government has no current plans to change this,” the statement said.

However, she added the government hoped the inquiry would identify “viable ways to provide the best level of support to IMGs while maintaining the high standards of the Australian health system.”

Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) president Dr