New fast-track process to get more medical specialists to Australia

MBA announces streamlined registration process for international doctors

The MBA’s fast-track initiative aims to address shortages in critical medical specialties and geographic locations around Australia. The pathway will initially focus on GPs, anaesthetists, obstetricians, gynaecologists, and psychiatrists.  


Key Points: 

  1. The Medical Board of Australia is introducing a fast-track registration pathway for internationally trained medical specialists. 
  2. Initially targeting GPs, anaesthetists, obstetricians, gynaecologists, and psychiatrists, the process will include recognition of specific overseas qualifications and grant upfront specialist registration. 
  3. Ongoing discussions with specialist colleges will determine the qualifications eligible for the expedited process. 
  4. The MBA aims for an October 2024 start for general practice and December 2024 for other specialties. 
  5. Fellowship of a specialist medical college will not be an automatic outcome of the new pathway. 


Specific specialist medical qualifications will undergo validation and be included in a publicly available list of eligible credentials. If an internationally trained doctor holds a listed qualification, they will not need to seek specialist assessment from the relevant college, instead, they can directly apply to the medical board for specialist registration. According to the proposal, they will then engage in supervised specialist work for six months, fulfilling Medical Board requirements such as cultural safety training and orientation to the Australian healthcare system. Upon satisfactory completion of these requirements, they will receive unconditional specialist registration. 

Attaining fellowship with a specialist medical college won't be a guaranteed result of the new expedited pathway. However, the Board is collaborating with all specialist colleges via a dedicated SIMG advisory council to assess the potential implications and seek viable solutions. 

The National Cabinet has prioritised regulatory reform, setting an ambitious timeline for action on recommendations from the Kruk Report, which advocated for an alternative fast-track pathway for medical specialists from countries with comparable healthcare systems.  

Discussions with specialist colleges are ongoing to finalise the list of qualifications for the expedited process. The Board aims to start the expedited pathway for general practice in October 2024 and for anaesthetics, obstetrics and gynaecology, and psychiatry in December 2024.  


We will provide an update once more information is available. 

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