The ’10 year moratorium’
There are allowances in Australian law for overseas trained doctors and foreign graduates of accredited medical schools to come to Australia and practise medicine in areas of need in an area classified in The Distribution Priority Area (DPA) to access Medicare under section 19AB of Australia’s Health Insurance Act 1973.
These areas are in a DPA, meaning that there are not enough doctors available to tend to the needs of the people living in the area. These areas are scattered across rural and remote Australia.
These special allowances dictate that the medical professional must work in the DPA area for a set amount of time (called a ‘return-of-service). Typically, this period of time has been ten years, which was commonly referred to as ‘the 10 year moratorium’. However, doctors can now reduce their years of service by serving in the areas where they are needed most.