Community & Business

15 December, 2022

Visas holding up overseas GPs

A FRUSTRATING lack of resources and an underwhelming effort to process visa applications is costing North Queensland more doctors, Kennedy MP Bob Katter has said.

Kennedy MP Bob Katter
Kennedy MP Bob Katter

Towns across Australia including Mareeba and Atherton have been struggling the increased demand for GPs and people can expect wait lists of up to six weeks if you are an existing patient, many doctors are not taking new patients.

At the recent Taskforce Meeting in Mareeba, Mareeba Hospital director of medical services Dr Brian Treanor said less and less doctors were choosing to become GPs and those that are, are opting not to work full-time.

The Mareeba Medical Clinic recently secured a Sydney doctor who relocated and began practicing recently and are waiting on two more doctors to arrive from Egypt.

Mr Katter is focusing his attention of the Department of Home Affairs after a doctor based in Ghana, missed his Australian Medical Council exam due to the time it took to progress his visa application.

The doctor lodged the application in April of this year with his exam scheduled for early November.

“We are advised that despite clinics finding overseas professionals, who are willing to relocate permanently and practice rurally, their visas are not being processed,” he said.

“Our communities are suffering as a result of the reluctance of Home Affairs to process visas or offer any resolutions.” 

Mr Katter has received multiple complaints about the processes around the visa applications including the lack of information about the relevant documentation applicants needed to provide, limited information about why an application is denied and no opportunity to make amendments or provide necessary additional documents.  


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