Government owes overseas-trained docs a simpler system
AUSTRALIA has an ethical responsibility to overhaul its registration and accreditation processes for international medical graduates, according to a GP academic who has fallen foul of the system.
Writing in People and Place, a journal published by Monash University, Dr Susan Douglas, an overseas-trained doctor and Australian National University (ANU) senior lecturer, said existing processes were fragmented and full of “inefficient bureaucracy” that greatly disadvantaged IMGs.
Despite lecturing in general practice at ANU since moving to Australia in May 2006, she is still unable to work as a GP.
“Once a country has established the need to recruit an IMG... it has an ethical responsibility to ensure that recruit encounters a fair system,” Dr Douglas argued.
Dr Douglas told how she was unable to register with a medical board until her family medicine qualifications were accredited, but then could not have these accredited until she registered with a medical board.
She said the new national registration and accreditation system was an opportunity to rebuild the current process, but that its success would largely depend on the different stakeholders’ commitment to working together.
A spokesperson for the Australian Medical Council said it recognised the existing challenges and was working with stakeholders towards introducing an effective system.