Close 457 loophole for junior doctor positions: AMA
Hospitals and health departments should be forced to prove they attempted to fill junior doctor vacancies locally before being allowed to hire practitioners from overseas, according to the AMA.
Urging a shake-up of current 457 visa arrangements, the AMA said the recruitment of large numbers of doctors from overseas to fill junior doctor positions in hospitals was no longer tenable given the pressure on training places for local medical graduates.
Even as swelling numbers of domestic medical graduates struggle to secure internships and prevocational training places, official figures show many health authorities and hospitals continue to recruit heavily from overseas, potentially displacing locally trained junior doctors and preventing them from undertaking the additional training they need to complete their qualifications.
In its submission to the Independent Review of the 457 visa program, the AMA cited official figures showing around 2000 doctors entered Australia on 457 visas last financial year, and said it was aware that 916 resident medical officer (RMO) positions were filled by 457 visa holders in the same period.
The Review is due to report by the end of June this year.
Published: 13 May 2014