The RACGP has taken the first step towards having general practice struck off the Skilled Occupations List
The RACGP has taken the first step towards having general practice struck off the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for immigration purposes.
GPs have been placed on the roll of professions flagged for close monitoring in 2016-17 in view of emerging signs of workforce oversupply.
GPs are among 16 health professions added to the watchlist this year. Others include anaesthetists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists and gynaecologists.
However, it is uncertain how long it may take to progress from the watchlist to eventual removal from the SOL.
In its application, the RACGP gave evidence of the shifting supply-demand balance in the general practice workforce.
But it also noted a geographic maldistribution, including shortages in rural and regional areas and some major metropolitan centres, especially outer metropolitan areas.
Inclusion on the SOL means qualified immigrants without sponsorship by a government agency can gain points towards obtaining a visa to work in Australia. It also helps applicants for family-sponsored and temporary graduate visas.
Five health professions were removed from the SOL as of 1 July – dental hygienist, dental prosthetist, dental technician, dental therapist and occupational health and safety adviser.
Ten peak bodies for health professionals applied to be included on the list owing to shortages of practitioners. They include psychiatrists, nurses and midwives, osteopaths, and ophthalmologists.