Practice managers face a fight to retain staff after officials in Australia said they will make it easier for doctors to emigrate as they “desperately” need more healthcare professionals.
The Australian government has upped its targets for foreign staff from 97,000 to 102,500 for the year in an effort to plug holes in the country’s burgeoning economy.
And as of next month, the points-based immigration system will be changed to allow English-speakers to fill this gap.
Under the current system, a total of 120 points gets an applicant fast-tracked, with points awarded depending on occupation, language, age, skills and experience.
And an additional five points for people who pass an English test will help professionals aged 30 to 35 who previously struggled to meet the threshold because of their age.
The country is also looking to attract more nurses, accountants, plumbers, carpenters, dentists and IT managers.
Australian Visa Bureau spokesman Chris Cook said: “The Australian government realises it is lacking workers in many professions which it desperately needs to fill, so the country is throwing its doors open to huge numbers of skilled and experienced British people.”
He added: “The implications of these changes are vast. The Australian government is looking for more immigrants than ever before.
“The changes are directed at medical professions, IT workers and those in the trades, and making it easier for them to meet the minimum eligibility requirements.”
Copyright © PA Business 2007