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Proposal to block overseas-trained medical professionals in SOL list?

Doctor's guide Source: AAP

A federal Health Department proposal could see overseas-trained doctors blocked from gaining visas to work in Australia. How will this impact Indian doctors panning to move to Australia?

A federal Health Department proposal could see overseas-trained doctors blocked from gaining visas to work in Australia.

Seema Chauhan, Queensland-based registered migration agent, says this year the government removed Dental professionals and this is a surprising proposal.

Australian medical professionals say the plan would ease the pressure on local graduates struggling to find jobs.

Dr Muhammad Awais came to Australia from Pakistan in 2009 and works as a general practitioner in Campbelltown, in Sydney's west.

He says he's thoroughly enjoyed the experience - "Absolutely it feels just like I'm home. The respect, the love and the community just accept us like we are one of their own."

A submission to the latest review of the Skilled Occupations List has been obtained by the Australian newspaper.

It shows the federal Health Department has called for 41 roles, including GPs and surgeons, to be removed from the list.

The Australian Medical Association doesn't support a total ban but its New South Wales President, Brad Frankum, says there is merit to the idea - "Overseas-trained doctors have been a really important part of our health system for a long time and continue to be so, but we're facing a situation now where we have a larger number of local graduates who have been trained in Australia. And our first responsibility is to make sure that those graduates have jobs to go into."

Medical schools have continued to open across the country over the past ten years.

Seema Chauhan adds that maybe the government wants to create more jobs for locally trained doctors.

While all Australian students are guaranteed intern placements, competition for jobs is fierce with few wanting to move to remote areas.

The Rural Doctors Association of Australia's Dr Ewen McPhee says it's foreign doctors that often fill the gaps in those locations - "We need to start training our own doctors and our own medical students in the skills that they need to go to the bush."

A statement from the federal Health Department says while overseas trained doctors play an important role, as the number of Australian trained doctors has increased substantially over the past decade, it's timely to consider whether existing immigration markers are still appropriate for health workforce needs.

The Turnbull government reportedly rejected the proposal before the election but is expected to revisit it in coming months.

Seema Chauhan adds that Indian doctors should not worry about this proposal as the changes are only in SOL and will not affect CSOL or employee sponsored nomination.