The process for working as an After Hours Doctor varies depending on whether you are Vocationally Registered (VR) or Non-Vocationally Registered (Non VR). Use our helpful flow chart to see your path to applying for an After-Hours provider number.
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Vocationally Registered (VR) Doctors
The process for working as an after hours Doctor is easier for VR Doctors. You can apply for a Provider Number and when it arrives start working straight away for DoctorDoctor.
Non-Vocationally Registered (Non-VR) Doctors
Non-VR Doctors can work in the After Hours Period by being approved throught the Approved Medical Deputising Services (AMDS) program.
The AMDS program. enables non-vocationally recognised doctors (those without fellowship) to access Medicare benefits for providing after-hours services on behalf of other doctors. This helps them get general practice experience, while ensuring people can access health care after hours.
Participants can access Medicare benefits for providing after-hours services on behalf of another doctor (deputising services). They can provide services:
- at a clinic
- at a residential aged care facility
- in a patient’s home.
Doctors on this program satisfy section 19AA of the Health Insurance Act 1973.
Why the AMDS program is important
The AMDS program allows general practitioners to deputise after-hours care for their patients to different service providers. The program helps to:
- give people access to health care outside of business hours
- reduce the need for patients to go to emergency departments for after-hours care
- ensure doctors who work business hours can have time off
- provide non-vocationally recognised doctors a chance to gain general practice experience in after-hours settings.
Eligibility for the AMDS Program
To participate on the AMDS Program, you must:
- hold temporary or permanent residency in Australia
- be a non-vocationally recognised doctor actively working towards fellowship with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) or Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
- hold limited, provisional, or general medical registration with the Medical Board of Australia
- hold a current Level 1 Advanced Life Support course certificate
- have at least 2 years of postgraduate experience, such as in paediatrics, accident and emergency, medicine and surgery.
If the AMDS approves your application, they will grant you an initial placement of 2 years. You must then apply for an extension every year. The AMDS will only grant extensions if you are actively working towards your fellowship. The maximum participation period on the AMDS program is 10 years.
You can work for more than one AMDS service provider at a time. Talk to your service provider if you are taking part in another workforce or training program, and wish to participate in the AMDS program.
How to Apply for the AMDS Program
You can apply for the AMDS Program any time by:
- discussing work opportunities with an AMDS service provider
- submitting a completed application form to your chosen service – use this form for a new application or an extension application
- submitting a completed declaration of exceptional circumstances if you have not been actively progressing towards fellowship.
AMDS will make the final decision on your eligibility to participate, and advise your service provider of the outcome.