Many doctors in the UK and Ireland are tired of being overworked, underpaid and under appreciated. Many are not just asking themselves whether they should move to Australia – they are doing it!
Around 25% are staking their happiness on a brighter future in sunny Australia. And many of them are making the move while they are young, before they are constrained by family.
A recent poll of 4500 junior British doctors revealed a third planned on working overseas in the next 12 months with Australia or New Zealand their most popular destinations.
Many will come for a year and stay for a lifetime.
But why is Australia the right choice for UK doctors considering upping their lives and starting afresh somewhere new?
Let’s take a look.
Australia’s GP shortage
Moving to Australia makes great sense for UK doctors for so many reasons, not the least of which is Australia’s GP shortage.
The Australian Medical Association recently released a report with some staggering data.
It found that in the decade to 2019, demand for doctors increased by 58% or the equivalent of 10,200 full-time positions.
Yet in the five years to 2021, only 4200 full-time GPs were added to the Australian workforce.
That’s a shortfall of 1800 doctors a decade prompting the AMA to predict that Australia will face a shortage of 10,600 GPs by 2031-32.
Woven into the problem is the reality that more doctors, both male and female, are working fewer hours.
Most specialties have vacancies while there is significant demand for GPs, psychiatrists and many areas of critical care medicine.
Ease of transfer from UK to Australia for doctors
Most International Medical Graduates (IMGs) working in Australia come from the United Kingdom.
That is because of the similarity of the undergraduate and postgraduate training systems between the two countries.
In the five years from 2016-21, 1261 specialists from the UK were approved to work in Australia under what is called the ‘specialist pathway’.
Most specialist British doctors from the UK are granted specialist recognition in Australia.
In addition, many more trainee doctors also made the move following the ‘competent authority pathway’.
Key questions for doctors to consider before planning a move to Australia
When weighing up whether a career and lifestyle move to Australia is right for you, there are several key questions to consider.
What are your life and career goals?
It sounds daunting but ask yourself, where do you see yourself in 10 or even 20 years?
Would you like to be established in a comfortable practice where there is high demand for your services and you can work as many or as few hours as you like?
Does working nearby the beach in a modern city with everything you need within a short walk or drive sound appealing?
At what stage is your career and personal life?
It is crucial to consider what stage of your career you have reached along with how a move would affect your family.
Australia welcomes doctors of all ages and experiences.
If you have ageing parents, you may feel a move across the world is not yet possible but perhaps it is feasible to investigate whether you can bring them too!
Equally, doctors with teenagers may run into some resistance whereas singles, doctors without children or with young families might find a move much easier.
What are your financial needs?
British doctors earn an average of £70,000.
But in Australia, they earn an average of a practice’s income, which is normally on average somewhere between £150,000-200,000 per year.
And they do it with much less mental stress and fatigue.
Doctors in Australia tend to work fewer hours than those in the UK – usually around 35-38 hours per week instead of sometimes 50 or more hours weekly.
They also see fewer patients. The average appointment time in Australia is six minutes longer than in the UK. That means more time to see patients and more time to draw breath in between.
And Australian doctors spend less time daily on annoying paperwork – 51 minutes a day compared to 87 in the UK.
What kind of lifestyle are you seeking?
Most Britons don’t need to be reminded of the more relaxed way of life in Australia.
There are vast open spaces to be enjoyed. If you want a big back yard, it is yours for the taking. And if you love the sunshine and the water, you’ll feel like you’re in heaven.
Australia’s mainland capitals average around 65% more sunshine hours than London. And with 12,000 beaches scattered around its 60,000 kilometres of coastline, you’re always close to the sand and surf (here at AHA, we’re just a stone’s throw from the beach and we love it!).
Will you be supported?
AHA Clinics takes the support of all of its doctors very seriously. Our practice management and administration staff are on call to help you concentrate on what really matters – your patients.
GPs at AHA build relationships with like-minded colleagues who assist each other with varied challenges.
And if there is no-one to help solve your problems internally, AHA engages experts from outside the business.
We believe strongly in promoting the interests of doctors and supporting them in the following areas:
Professional development – AHA Clinics prides itself on being at the cutting edge of medicine. We’ll hook you up with the latest educational programs. And encourage and assist you to advance your career in any way you choose.
Mentoring program – We strongly believe in the value of mentors within our clinic and will help you pair with a suitable mentor to assist your personal and professional growth. You will also be offered the opportunity to mentor a junior doctor.
Physical health – Doctors can’t take care of their patients if they don’t take care of themselves.
Mental health – Burnout has placed such an enormous burden on the medical industry and AHA is acutely aware of the importance of monitoring the mental health of our doctors.
Work/life balance – One of the real keys to good physical and mental health is a good work/life balance. It’s different for everyone but we are flexible when it comes to finding the right mix for you.
Why AHA Clinics at Seaford, South Australia is the best option for UK doctors
Adelaide was declared Australia’s most liveable city in 2021. It was also rated the third-most liveable city in the world according to The Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Index.
And Seaford is a relaxed, little patch of sun-drenched coast with everything the city has to offer, just 40 minutes from the Adelaide CBD.
If you’re looking for the peace and quiet of country life with all the modern facilities a big city has to offer, this is your chance.
You’ll be able to relocate to Seaford and work as many or as few hours as you like to support the lifestyle you crave.
Prepare to start work on your first day with a long list of patients to work with!
And then when your day is done, enjoy the local beaches, cafes, open spaces, fresh sea air and postcard views like you’ve never known before.
It sounds crazy but you could see your last patient for the day at 1pm and be riding the crest of a Seaford wave before 2pm. That’s what some of our doctors do!
If you are bringing a young family, there are numerous government and private schools in the area – all at around 40 per cent cheaper than their Sydney and Melbourne counterparts.
If your children are older, the world-acclaimed Flinders University is only a 22-minute drive away.
And there are four other universities located within the CBD and all easily accessible by car or public transport.
When you really need to unwind and explore, you’ll find hiking and biking trails at your back door.
And there’s the world-famous McLaren Vale wine region just a 10-minute drive south.
Contact AHA Clinics today
Moving to a new country to work can be exciting but a lot to manage. But AHA Clinics are expert at sorting all of the problems associated with overseas doctors making the big move.
It makes perfect sense for overseas GPs to want to work at AHA Clinics.
Our two practices at Seaford and Seaford Meadows pride themselves on a fantastic, inclusive culture that support you both professionally and personally.
Our purpose built, state-of-the-art facilities utilise natural light and make coming to work here an absolute joy.
You can find out more about opportunities here.
If this sounds attractive to you, please get in touch. We’d love to help you anyway we can.
Our AHA leadership team will contact you soon to arrange a no obligation discussion.
To find out more about GP opportunities around Australia for UK doctors, you can also contact expert GP recruiter: Health Recruitment Australia.