Question: “Can you explain the implications of the 19AA restriction for overseas-trained doctors like myself who are considering applying for permanent residency in Australia? How does it affect billing under Medicare, and what steps do I need to take to ensure a smooth transition while maintaining compliance with the regulations?”
Medicare has a restriction, 19AA, affecting overseas-trained doctors, especially GPs without RACGP fellowship. This blocks permanent resident doctors from billing Medicare.
Exemptions exist, but those who received permanent residency as generally registered doctors must notify Medicare immediately. Access ends at 5 p.m. that day, with no exceptions.
Why the rush? Although Medicare doesn’t talk to Immigration, future applications for provider numbers need visa details. Failing prompt reporting means penalties. Post-permanent residency billings become a debt to the Commonwealth. Audits, infrequent but crucial checks, happen.
Doctors relying solely on the 19AA exemption due to temporary residency lose it after gaining permanent residency. Immediate reporting on the residency day is crucial.
Future Medicare applications will need visa details. Not aligning residency and work cessation dates means penalties and debts for post-permanent residency billings.
Prompt reporting on gaining permanent residency is vital. Compliance ensures smooth Medicare access without penalties or government debts in the future.