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PR/Citizen Doctors must be given priority in Aust Med Council Exams/Jobs

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     Honourable Health Minister, you would be astonished to know many IMGs (International Medical Graduates) who are Citizens/PR missed out on booking AMC (Australian Medical Council) Clinical exam on 2 Nov 2016, for the 2017 Series 1 exams (Feb, March, April 2017) due to being slow to click the Computer Mouse by fraction of a second! (Probably smaller time gap than between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin for 100m Gold in Reo Olympics 2016!!) While many doctors only found -1 &-2 (minus 1 & minus 2) exam spots to book out of 36 spots/day on their screens!! (Dear Mr Hunt, how would our MPs feel if there were elections for -1 & -2 seats in Australian Election?)    

       Although AMC sent an apology by email to all AMC Clinical aspirants after the incident and promised to prevent the system from crashing down like last 3 times in 2016; due to too many candidates (1800 candidates for 600 exam spots), it seems AMC is still following the casual approach as those affected being IMGs, are no one’s responsibility! Unfortunately once again IMGs hoping to book an exam spot on 2nd Feb 2017 were let down by AMC as they without informing (Emailing/Phoning) candidates postponed the date to 28 Feb 2017 saying over telephone that they hadn’t come up with any preference criterion for the candidates even after “3 months” of 2nd Nov 16 debacle.

       Dear Mr Hunt, after moving the booking date from 2nd Feb to 28 Feb 2017, AMC proposes  to reserve at least 50% of the seats for fresh candidates vis a vis doctors just passing AMC (Part 1) MCQ from 30 overseas and 7 Australian Centre’s most whom are non-specialist doctors, are not Australian Citizen/PR. Therefore they are not in demand in the Australian Workforce. On the other hand Australian Citizen/PR IMGs who haven’t passed AMC Clinical Exam are neither considered for employment in Australia Hospitals nor are they eligible to practice in their country of origin due to loss of Residency/Citizenship.

          Dear Mr Hunt, we would like you to consider directing AMC to give priority to the Citizen/ Permanent Resident Candidates in booking AMC Clinical Exam spots, just in line with the NZREX Clinical Exam of Medical Council of New Zealand, who give the examination placement priority to the Citizen/Permanent Residents first and rest of spots are distributed among overseas candidates. Dear Sir, I quote a Health Department submission (The Australian, Aug 2016)  The submission reportedly says that the number of Australian-trained doctors has “increased substantially over the past decade”, but that it is now necessary to “consider whether existing immigration markers are still appropriate for our health workforce needs.   A recent one read Health Department’s advice to curb foreign doctor’s influx ignored (Parnell, Shaun; The Australian 13 Feb 2017)

          I am afraid with the policy paralysis continuing, the IMG recruitment scenario would soon end worse than PLAB of UK in 2006 (Independent, 2006) The Jobless doctors from overseas who live in poverty , which resulted due to PLAB continuing to conduct exams at overseas centres, while jobs in the domestic markets almost dried up. It is anyone’s guess that with an average pass rate of 15-35% in AMC Clinical Exam, the ratio of 1 seat for 3 candidates is just going to get unmanageable, no matter how many priority criteria AMC comes up with.

       Honourable Health Minister, isn’t it a high time AMC stops conducting MCQ exam at its 30 overseas centres for non-specialist doctors when Australia’s own unemployed  PR/Citizens IMGs are bearing the brunt of oversupply?

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