An Accident and Emergency (A&E) consultant from Glasgow once told The Guardian that after working in Australia for two years, he had no plans of going back. For the last 15 years, the common practice of young English doctors is to go to Australia, work there for a year and then come back to the UK to become a consultant.
But, 39-year-old Dr Michael Sheridan openly admits A&E consultants receive much better support in Australia than in the UK. That is in terms of work hours and workload. For this reason alone, he does not intend to return home just yet.
Before you pack up and catch the first flight to Melbourne, you should know about the several requirements you must meet.
“To work as a doctor in Australia, you must be eligible to be registered with Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA),” Triple0.com says. Not to mention, fulfil the requirements provided by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIMI).
If you are set on your goal to improve your working situation, the requirements should not dampen any of that vigour.
Admittedly, the work in Australia is as hectic as it is in the UK. The difference lies on the staffing. The consultant in Australia can delegate registrars and fellow consultants to attend to patients. In contrast, the National Health Service (NHS) A&E consultants suffer from a shortage of staff. This forces them to depend on junior staff and sometimes prevents them from filling posts.
A typical NHS hospital has seven to 10 registrars. While a hospital in Victoria can have as many as 13 consultants, 20 registrars and 12 junior doctors.
The staffing levels that Australia has now must be the aim of every medical institution in the world. For Dr Sheridan, the ability to share the workload with your colleagues takes away a lot of the pressure and stress. The working atmosphere also serves as a great platform for doctors in training, because of the support and opportunities offered.
With less stress and fewer hours, working in Australia is certainly worth giving it a try.