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BMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7193.3 (Published 08 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:S3-7193

Cracks are appearing in the Australian plan to be entirely self sufficient on home grown medical graduates. The Western Australia state government last week relaxed the requirement for overseas doctors to sit the Australian Medical Council examination, designed to ration entry to the country for doctors, and with a correspondingly low pass rate. Doctors willing to commit to five years of work in an area of unmet need in Western Australia - which currently has 38 unfilled posts - can instead sit the examination for the Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, or have equivalent overseas qualifications recognised. Temporary resident doctors will have four years instead of two to pass the exam, and will be eligible for unconditional registration and permanent residence after the five year period. The federal government has agreed to issue Medicare provider numbers to these doctors, though it will only honour claims from defined postcode areas.

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