Locum Doctors have become increasingly important for healthcare practices in Australia that are wrestling to maintain round the clock services to their patients.
Who is a Locum Doctor?
With the healthcare work shortages becoming abundant, locum tenens is the hidden driver of the smooth run in the medical system. Traditionally these Doctors fill temporary positions for weeks or even months. The positions from every specialty from family practice to urgent care are typically able to work as a locum doctor. A locum placement can be short-term or long-term.
A healthcare practice may hire locum doctors for different reasons, at times to meet the increased number of patients, to cover a physician’s maternity leave, to cover study leave or to supplement staff while waiting for a new doctor to start. Whatever the reason it may be, Locum Doctors are considered very important in bridging many existing gaps in the healthcare industry.
According to an article on The Sydney Morning Herald, there has been substantial growth in the employment of locums in Australia during the past few years with no indication of slowing down. The payroll reporting for May 2019 suggests that locum tenens took up 38.4 per cent of the full-time equivalent medical workforce in Southern NSW Local Health District, 22.88 per cent in the Far West district and then followed by 14.47 per cent in the Mid North Coast.
Locum work can be flexible and interesting. It gives the practitioner the chance to see many aspects of medicine without the requirement of a long-term commitment.
Steps to become a Locum
Steps to become a Locum
· Know Your Objectives
In order to find a right locum position, you need to work out your personal objectives by becoming a locum. Is it the travel and the lifestyle that motivates you? Perhaps it is the intention to further your career? Or maybe the high pay rates or flexibility that tempts you? Whatever the reason may be, it is important to clearly identify your motives.
· Access Your Eligibility
There are basic requirements that a locum doctor in Australia should have:
· Registration Requirements
You should have a General Registration or a Specialist Registration. If you plan to work as a Specialist, you must have a Specialist Registration. Or if you decide to take up a temporary vacant role such as a trainee position, you will need a General Registration to proceed.
· Permit to work in Australia
You are required to be legally authorized to work in Australia—which means you need to be an Australian Citizen or a Permanent Resident. If you are a Temporary Resident, you have to be on a visa which permits you to work as a locum.
· Provider Number
Often Locum positions request the candidate to have a provider number—a unique number you can get if you are an eligible health professional recognized for Medicare services. Locums in private practice including General Practice must have a Provider Number since you will not be able to charge patients Medicare fees for the services provided—therefore the locum role wouldn’t be viable.
· Prescriber Number
In many positions you may also need a Prescriber number—a number that identifies you to be eligible to prescribe medication under Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). You can have multiple prescriber numbers based on the health professions you embark on.
Contact Medfuture to find out more about your eligibility and get the basic requirements in place.
· CV and References
Although no one enjoys updating their CV and getting the evidence in place, it is an unavoidable step to applying for new positions. It’s also important to come up with a shortlist of references and let them know they might be contacted anytime. Moreover, having plenty of credentials and extensive experience can be advantageous when applying for locum work.
· Sign up with a Reliable Agency
Once you have your intentions figured, your eligibility considered, and your paperwork ready, you need to explore many opportunities as possible to find the best job that would suit your personal and professional life. Signing up with a responsible agency could be a quick and easy way to proceed with the next steps to find the perfect role.
Where are the Locum Roles?
In Australia, the states that mostly demand locum doctors are;
New South Wales
These areas also have clinics/ hospitals with Doctor shortages and therefore offer great opportunities for long term work as well. Do you think being a locum practitioner may be the change you need in your medical career? Medfuture team of medical recruitment specialists can help you find the best position for you in any location across Australia.
Register with Medfuture for free guidance and we will have you start your new venture in no time. We will do the legwork while you can reap the benefits of a new exciting life. Want us to reach out to you? Send us an email to [email protected]