District of Workforce Shortage (DWS) is now replaced with Distribution Priority Area (DPA). Below information for DWS is not current and it is only valid for your general information. Please refer to Distribution Priority Area (DPA) page on our website to get more information about DPA.

There are many misconceptions about District of Workforce Shortage (DWS) among medical practices. We receive inquiries from medical practices regarding DWS and Area of Need. Here is the list of some questions that we receive and answers to those questions.

1.) How can we apply for DWS.

Practices can not apply for District of Workforce Shortage. It used to be an application based process in the past but not anymore. Depending upon the practice location, either you are in DWS or not. Please check DWS status here.

2.) Is our practice Area of Need (AoN)?

If you have not gone through a systematic process to become Area of Need, most probably your practice is not Area of Need. Area of Need is a special status that is granted to a medical practice (in DWS areas only) if they can satisfy certain criteria (Labour Market Testing, Evidence of Need and Stakeholder Consultation). Evidence of Need can be satisfied by having the practice in DWS area. However, to satisfy Labour Market Testing and Stakeholder Consultation, practices need to go through a series of actions.

3.) Can we recruit an overseas trained doctor in non DWS area?

If your practice is not in DWS area, you may be still able to recruit an OTD who has finished 10 year moratorium. If you want to recruit an OTD who is still in 10 year moratorium, there are some other types of 19AB exemption available for special circumstances. e.g. After hour exemption, locum exemption, 19AB spousal exemption etc.

4.) Why are we not be in DWS. What can we do to become DWS?

As mentioned above, depending upon your practice location, either you are in DWS or not. There is nothing that you can do to become DWS.  Please note that DWS map is now updated annually in February each year so please keep an eye on doctor connect website to see if your status is changed from DWS to non-DWS or from non-DWS to DWS.

6.) We are in District of Workforce Shortage. Does that mean we can recruit any doctor?

If your practice is in DWS, you can recruit both locally trained and/or overseas trained (Who are in moratorium or who have finished their moratorium already). However, other requirements like AHPRA registration, 19AA restriction, supervision requirements etc.. will still apply when it comes to getting a medicare provider number.

7.) We do not have District of Workforce Shortage. How can we recruit a doctor?

If you do not have DWS, you can still recruit a locally trained doctor or an OTD who has finished the 10 year moratorium. Also, DWS status updates every year in February so that you need to keep an eye on doctor connect website to see if your status is changed. If you become DWS, you can then also recruit OTDs in moratorium. Please note that 19AA of the Health insurance act is still applicable while applying for medicare provider number.

Some of the recent jobs posted on our website which are in Distribution Priority Area (DPA)

Is your practice in DPA? You might want to advertise your GP job on our website so it can be visible on this page and also on our job search page..