Rural GPs slam report calling for curb on IMGs

RURAL doctors have slammed comments from a Monash University sociologist who says Australia has overshot its goal by attempting to fill the GP skills gap with international medical graduates (IMGs), leaving the country “awash with doctors wishing to become GPs”.

The report, from Reader in Sociology Dr Bob Birrell (PhD), stated population-to-GP ratios in non-metropolitan areas were well below the 1500 target and the limited registration category allowed IMGs to practise under less scrutiny than Australian trained medical graduates.

But Rural Health Workforce CEO Dr Kim Webber (PhD) said the report was misguided and ill-informed.

Dr Webber said overseas trained doctors made a fantastic contribution to rural communities, which would otherwise miss out on the kind of healthcare city people take for granted.

“More than 40% of doctors in rural and remote Australia are from overseas and they play a critical role in the