GP and medical specialist eligibility requirements

Eligibility requirements for general practitioners (GPs) and medical specialists to access Medicare benefits.

Section 19AA of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) outlines eligibility requirements for GPs and medical specialists to claim Medicare benefits.

To satisfy section 19AA and be eligible for a Medicare provider number, you must be either:

  • vocationally recognised as a specialist, consultant physician or general practitioner
  • registered in an approved placement under section 3GA of the Act
  • first registered before 1 November 1996 - some exclusions apply - you can find more information on the Federal Register of Legislation website
  • a temporary resident doctor with an exemption under section 19AB of the Act, working according to that exemption.

Applying for vocational recognition

You need to fill in a form to apply for vocational recognition as a GP, specialist or consulting physician.

Read more about gaining recognition as a general practitioner.

Read more about gaining recognition as a specialist or consulting physician.

Recognised workforce or training programs

To satisfy section 19AA, you must be in a placement under a workforce or training program.

The current recognised programs under section 3GA of the Act are:

  • Australian General Practice Training Program - Department of Health (Health)
  • Remote Vocational Training Scheme - Remote Vocational Training Scheme Limited
  • Approved Medical Deputising Service Program - Health
  • Temporary Resident Other Medical Practitioner Program - Health
  • Approved Private Emergency Department Program - Health
  • Australasian College of Sports Physicians Training Program - Australasian College of Sports Physicians
  • Queensland Country Relieving Program - Queensland Department of Health
  • Special Approved Placements Program - Health
  • Approved Placements for Sports Physicians Program - Health
  • Specialist College Trainee programs - relevant Australian Specialist Colleges
  • Rural Locum Relief Program - Rural Workforce Agencies in each state and territory.

New GP college pathway and workforce programs will be recognised from 1 January 2019.

If you’re in an approved program, complete an application form for a provider number for your placement location. Your placement organisation must tell us about your placement. We can’t register an approved 3GA program placement from a date before we get the placement advice.

Overseas trained doctors and foreign graduates eligibility requirements

There’re specific requirements that overseas trained doctors and foreign graduates have to meet to be eligible for Medicare benefits. Read more about eligibility requirements for overseas trained doctors and foreign graduates.

More information

Read more about Medicare benefits for health professionals.

Page last updated: 13 January 2021