Work in Australia

Work in Australia

7th Jul 2016

From the outside it’s not hard to see why over half a million people each year elect to move to Australia. Warm weather, an impressive, relaxed standard of living and great work/life balance make it one of the most attractive locations in the world for people who believe their future lies abroad.


If you are a medical professional looking to take your career to the next level by moving overseas then this guide should help you to decide whether or not Australia is the right country for you.


The healthcare system in Australia is split into public and private facilities - just like it is in the United Kingdom. The public system is funded by a combination of the government  - who dedicate 9.4% of the country's total GDP to funding it (a figure fractionally greater than the that of the UK) - and the people of the country, who contribute through a 2% levy known as ‘Medisave’ on their income.


This combination of funding ensures that the publically funded healthcare system in Australia is financially secure. Incentives are also in place to encourage the use of the private system and ensure that the state system does not find itself overrun and underfunded.


Perhaps the most notable of these incentives is the Private Health Insurance Rebate. Under this scheme ‘Medicare’ makes a contribution towards your healthcare costs based on your earnings and age. The percentage increases as you get older, and decreases as you earn more ensuring that it helps out those who are most in need.


PHIB allows the healthcare system to focus more on the quality of care it provides as opposed to the quantity of patients who pass through the doors. It ensures that, unlike the NHS, the state system is not overworked and creates a far less stressful working environment for medics.


If working within either healthcare system sounds appealing, then read on to discover what else Australia has to offer.


The Australian lifestyle is envied by many worldwide. For countless years the country has strived to create a healthy work/life balance and that is prevalent throughout the healthcare system with well staffed surgeries and fixed working hours enjoyed by most in the industry.


Daily life in Australia is commonly more relaxed and lower paced than elsewhere in the world, but that certainly doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty to see and do in the country for people with all sorts of differing interests.


Despite boasting one of the lowest population densities on earth, and plenty of rural and natural beauty, Australia is far from a desolate wilderness. It can provide a perfect mixture of vibrant, entertaining cities and unspoilt natural surroundings.


If you’re looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life then plenty of relaxing natural beauty is never far away. From the stunning 1142ft sandstone formation, Uluru (or Ayers Rock) in the middle of the outback to the breathtakingly beautiful coral of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is full of sites of outstanding natural beauty and geographical importance.


Away from the beautiful scenery there are plenty of cultural attractions. The dynamic sails of the Sydney Opera House are one of the most iconic images of the country, and it is home to performances from some of the best musicians, actors and poets from all over the world.


Australia also has a thriving arts scene featuring specially dedicated museums for Aboriginal artworks. These are a must see if you are interested in artwork, and finding out more about the fascinating indigenous people of the country and their culture.


If the arts aren’t of interest, then don’t be concerned as there really is something in Australia for everyone.


Every town and city is home to plenty of bars and restaurants, whilst most are based on the coastline making them ideal for water and beach sports or simply relaxing and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.


The larger state capitals are also home to plenty of large shopping facilities housing all the major brands that you would expect to find in the UK. This highlights why Australia attracts so many western people to its shores. It’s very similar in terms of culture and facilities to life at home, but with a far more relaxed atmosphere...and better weather!


Daily life in Australia does differ in many small ways from that of a medic working in the NHS. In hospitals staffing levels are higher than they are in Britain, often up to 4 consultants can be working at the one time assisted by up to 6 registrars. This helps to ensure that whilst there is often a greater number of patients in attendance the workload is far more manageable than it is elsewhere.


As well as better staffing numbers, medics in Australia will usually work a set number of hours per week - with time set aside within this for teaching if it’s a teaching hospital that you are working in. This can often be as much as 25% of the working week, and so appeals greatly to doctors who enjoy passing on their skills.


As well as this a focus is placed on achieving and keeping a healthy work/life balance. It is extremely rare to be asked to stay on later in a shift, unpaid, and many of the medics we know who work there have spoken about how they feel truly valued by their employers. Working hours per week are also normally much lower than they are in the UK, despite salaries often being more attractive.


Outwith the healthcare system the big change that many people notice immediately when they move to Australia is the scale of the country. Australia is the 6th largest country in the world by area, and as a result travelling can take up a lot of time - especially if you live in a remote town or village that can often be more than 2 hours away from the nearest large town or city.


Travelling is therefore a massively different experience in Australia. The quickest way to get around is by air, and with plenty of fierce competition from regional airlines fares can be extremely competitive. An inter-state return flight can often cost as little as $180AUD (£90).


Rail travel is also widespread, from epic cross-state journeys to more simple inner city commutes, Australia has a wide and well organised rail network. It can also represent the best value for money way of getting around the country.


Of course travelling by car remains the most popular method of transport in the country, and fuel prices are cheaper than they are in most European countries (around 66 pence per litre). Travelling by car around Australia certainly isn’t for everyone due to the distances, but if you do decide it’s right for you then there are some of the most scenic roads in the world within the country. These can be the perfect place to admire the true natural beauty of Australia from.


If life down under is sounding appealing to you then it may be time to assess how realistic your chances of gaining employment within the country are.


For a consultant's job within the country employers will look for a CCT (or equivalent) along with Western qualifications and board accreditation. MRCPUK, Canadian, French and American are the most sought after, however certification from other, similar, countries may also be accepted.


As well as this most employers will look for upwards of 5 years experience (although this can be flexible), and will require candidates to be fluent in English.


If you possess these qualifications, skills and have an engaging, positive and and energetic attitude towards your employment - along with a well written CV - then the possibility of taking your career ‘down under’ could be a very realistic one indeed.


The immigration process is more stringent than many other countries, but assuming that you have the qualifications and a job offer than gaining a visa shouldn’t be overly troublesome. Often prospective employers will sort out the admin side of the move and so it needn’t be a worry.


It is also worth bearing in mind that often you will have to work in a DWS area when you first move to the country. Especially if you are a GP. DWS stands for District Workforce Shortage and is an area where it is more difficult to find staff. In order to receive your ‘Medicare’ billing number overseas doctors will often be expected to start their career in Australia working within these areas.


Don’t be disappointed therefore if the majority of jobs which are available are in fairly rural locations, as they put you on the road to working in the bigger cities and major hospitals.


Of course the main reason behind many people’s decision to move their career abroad is the financial benefits that this can bring with it.


Salaries in Australia are no different, a GP can expect to earn between $150,000AUD and $400,000AUD (between £85,556 and £228,150). This figure can vary depending on your experience, the hospital you are working in and the overtime that you complete.


Average consultants wages start at around $175,000AUD and increase almost towards $500,000AUD (£100,000 to £285,000).


The cost of living in Australia is likely to work out at a similar, or fractionally lower, cost than it is in the UK. Groceries are more expensive - particularly fresh fruit and vegetables due to stringent quarantine regulations - however this is offset by a lower cost of eating out, allowing you to treat yourself more often!


Utility bills in Australia are also substantially lower than they are in the UK and those, combined with the lower cost of vehicle fuel means that the household bills amount to a far lower amount than they would in most European countries.


Income tax rates in Australia also differ greatly from those in the UK, meaning that your ‘take home’ salary can often be higher than it would be at home.


Most medics will find themselves in categories 4 or 5 of the Australian Taxation system. In Cat’ 4 - for those earning between $80,001 and $180,000 - taxation rates will effectively be between 21.9% and 30.3% - compared with the 40% rate which is paid in Britain.


For those earning over $180,000AUD the tax rate rises to a figure between 30.3% and 44% of your average earnings, normally nearer 35% or 36% - compared with the 45% flat rate paid in Britain


These rates only apply to residents, and don’t include the 2% Medicare levy. Non residents taxation rates are slightly higher, but the Medicare levy isn’t required and so they work out at roughly similar amounts.


The residency process takes around a year and a half to complete and currently costs around $3000AUD. It’s certainly not necessary for everyone moving, but if you believe that your long term future lies in the country then it would make sense to consider applying for this after you’ve settled in.


Australia has plenty to offer the healthcare professional. It boasts a successful and well funded healthcare system which is complemented by a healthy work/life balance and a laid back lifestyle.


A move down under is particularly appealing to people with young families, as the country is considered one of the best in the world to raise children in. It’s also perfect for individuals and couples simply wishing to escape from the ever increasing amount of bureaucracy and strain of daily working life in the National Health Service however.


If you believe that the future of your career may lie in Australia then register on our website ,and like our Facebook page for job alerts and all the latest news from the countries healthcare service.











































Quick Facts





Largest City


Official Languages

None (English most widely spoken)

National Anthem

Advance Australia Fair

Total Area





$1.137 trillion

GDP per Capita



Elizabeth II

Chief Justice

Robert French

Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull

Governor General

Sir Peter Cosgrove


Australian Dollar

Population Density

3 per km2

Calling Code


Unemployment Rate


Net Migration

5.65 per 1000

National Animal


National Plant

Golden Wattle

National Colours

Green and Gold















Title: Points scored


Title: Points scored








Australian Capital territory




New South Wales












South Australia




Western Australia








Northern Territory





Main Health Issues in Australia


Cardiovascular Diseases


The biggest killer of females in Australia comes as a surprise to many people. 37% of female deaths in the country every year are linked to cardiovascular issues, with coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular conditions such as strokes and subarachnoid haemorrhages being the major killers




Dementia is a major issue in Australia, and currently affects more than 350,000 Australians. This figure is expected to rise nearer to 1,000,000 individuals by the year 2050 unless a medical breakthrough is discovered. Recent research shows Alzheimer's to be the most common type of the condition in the country.




Before the age of 75 estimates suggest that 1 in 3 Australian men, and 1 in 4 women in Australia will be diagnosed with Cancer. Every year more than 123,000 cases of the illness are diagnosed making it one of the most widespread health conditions in the country.


The most common types of Cancer vary depending on a patient's age, but in a general sense the most common types are prostate, colorectal and breast followed by skin and lung conditions.


Each year Cancer takes the life of 45,700 people on average, with the biggest killers being lung and colorectal.


Cancer care in the country has improved greatly however, with the survival rate for many types increasing by over 20% in the last 30 years, and it’s hoped this figure will continue to increase as further advancements in care are made.




Diabetes affects an estimated 917,000 Australians currently living in the country, with an additional 280 developing the illness each day.


85% of these patients suffer with Type 2 of the condition, linked with a poor diet and lack of exercise, however the number of people suffering with Type 1 is also continuing to rise, albeit at a slower rate.


Despite extensive funding into educating people about how to lower their risk of developing the condition the current upward trend does not appear to be showing any signs of curving downwards.


Mental Health Issues


It is estimated that almost half the population of Australia will experience a mental health issue at some point in their life, with depression and anxiety being the most prevalent, especially amongst young people where around 1 in 10 between the ages of 12 and 25 will experience these issues.


Funding for psychiatric services is generous as Australia focuses on tackling this concerningly high figure.



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Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 04:25 by Babar al hassan

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